What are phantom shocks?
Shocks are electrical discharges by a defibrillator which discharges a transient high voltage current to reset the heart rhythm in life threatening heart rhythm disorders like ventricular fibrillation. The shock of an implanted defibrillator is felt as sudden jolt within, which is sometimes slightly painful. In some individuals who complain that they have received a shock, investigation using the device memory shows that the shock has not been delivered. This feeling of getting a shock from the implanted cardioverter defibrillator when one has not actually been delivered is known as a phantom shock. Phantom shocks usually occur in those who are too much anxious about the defibrillator shocks. Phantom shocks are different from inappropriate shocks in which the shock has been delivered for an abnormal heart rhythm for which a shock was not actually necessary like a supra ventricular tachycardia (abnormal rhythm originating from the upper chambers of the heart), which could have terminated spontaneously.