Can an implantable device like a pacemaker be damaged by an electric shock?
A direct current defibrillation shock delivered directly over the device can cause permanent damage, though not always. Hence the teaching is that emergency defibrillation shock should be delivered as far away from the device as medically feasible and the shock electrode axis should be perpendicular to the device-lead axis. Most often this can be achieved if one paddle is placed in front and another in the back. But in a dire emergency there may not be enough time to turn the person to the side and do this properly. It is mandatory to check the device function after every shock to document any potential damage.