Since its clinical introduction, AICD therapy has gained significant acceptance. Some physicians consider it the "gold standard" in treating malignant tachyarrhythmias associated with sudden cardiac death. As the technology and therapy application have grown, nursing responsibilities have evolved as well. And, with the forthcoming combinations of technology such as AICDs with antitachycardia pacing and bradycardia pacing, the sophistication of the therapy is expected to increase. However, the most critical role for nurses in AICD patient care remains education. Increased utilization has made AICD implants more common, but many patients still lack the initial information and acceptance needed for therapeutic success. Health-care professionals who continue to update and share their understanding of this life-saving technology make invaluable contributions to the care of these patients who have received a second chance at life.

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