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Home > Patient Education Repository > 01092--Insertable Cardiac Monitor Information (LINQ)

patient education : 01092--Insertable Cardiac Monitor Information (LINQ)

Information about insertable cardiac Monitors (ICM), how they work and basic care information from Heart and Vascular Center

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PDF document icon PE01092_eng_InsertableCardiacMonitor.pdf — PDF document, 57 KB (59099 bytes)
  1. document content:

     Insertable Cardiac Monitor Information (LINQTM)                                                              

    What is an insertable cardiac monitor?

    An insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) is a small device that continuously monitors heart rhythms and records them automatically or manually by using a hand-held Patient Assistant.  The device is about the size of two match sticks, and is implanted under the skin in your upper left chest. It is not visible in most patients.

    How does the ICM work?

    Once the cardiac monitor is inserted, it is programmed to continuously monitor your heart’s electrical activity.

    • Automatic - This information is automatically downloaded each night from your ICM to the bedside Patient Monitor.  Each night, the bedside Patient Monitor sends the information wirelessly (via cell phone signal) to a secure internet server. This information is available to the Device Nurse team. The bedside Patient Monitor should be placed within 6.5 feet of your heart to be able to read your ICM at night.            
     If  you have symptoms – send a recording    

    1.          Take hand-held “Patient Assistant” and hold  over the LINQ

    2.          Press record

    3.          Green lights tells you that you were  successful

    Manual - You will also have a hand–held “Patient Assistant” to manually record your heart’s activity when you are having symptoms. If you have symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, fainting, chest pain or sudden shortness of breath, you or your family member should immediately place the small hand-held “Patient Assistant” over the device and press the record symptoms (heart-shaped) button. This triggers the device to record your heart’s rhythms before, during your symptoms. When the response indicator light up with a green check mark, you have made a successful recording

    Since my monitor “automatically detects and records” abnormal heart rhythms, do I need to record symptoms?                                     

    Yes.  If you experience symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, fainting, chest pain, sudden shortness of breath - activate the manual recording. If the monitor doesn’t see a rhythm that it would automatically record while you are having symptoms, you and your doctor will miss valuable information about what is causing your symptoms.

    Does this heart monitor send an alert to my doctor that I am having a dangerous rhythm?

    No, not right away. This monitor is not like constant heart monitoring while you are in the hospital with alarms that notify the medical team when there is an emergency. The purpose of this monitor is to get valuable diagnostic information about what rhythms you are having – not to be an emergency service.

    Remember, your monitor downloads its information every night while you sleep, not constantly throughout the day. If that overnight recording shows a concerning problem, the doctor will be notified sometime that next business day.

    However, if you have serious symptoms that cause you to send in a manual recording, you should notify the Device Nurse Office to let them know you sent this recording. They will retrieve the recording and send it to your doctor.

    Whom do I call ?

    About the monitor?  Please call the Device Nurse Office to let them know you have sent in a manual transmission, to find out if they received it, or if you have heart monitor related questions. 434 924 9696

    About your symptoms or results or what to do? Please call the nurse of the physician who implanted the LINQ monitor to let them know you have had symptoms or receive instructions on what to do.

    What do I do after hours or on weekends or holidays if I have a monitor concern or symptoms?

    Again, this is a diagnostic heart monitor, not a monitoring system.  Call 911 or the Cardiologist on call at 434 924 0000 as you normally would for concerning symptoms.  They will NOT be able to access the monitor information in this situation but will leave your doctor a message to follow up the next business day.

    How much information does the monitor store?

    The monitor will store about 4 manual transmissions. So if you have already recorded 4 times in 24 hours, please call the device office to download the transmissions, otherwise the oldest transmissions might be lost.

    When will I have my monitor checked?

    Follow Up with Your Doctor and Device Nurse Team:

    • 2 Weeks:   After your implant procedure, you will      receive a call from the Device Nurse Team in about 2 weeks to assess how      your site is doing and answer questions you may have about the monitor.
    • 3 Months:   You will receive a follow up      appointment with your implanting doctor about 3 months after the      procedure. Please send in a transmission the day before your appointment,      so that the report can be ready for your visit. If you do not do this, you      will also need a device appointment the day of your office visit.
    • Future office visits with      your implanting doctor:  When you      have an office visit scheduled with your physician/provider,  you need to either
    1.    Make a separate Device clinic appointment that same day prior to seeing the doctor or
    2.    Send  a manual transmission from home the day before the appointment, and have made a “remote monitor appointment” with the device office for the morning of your office visit

    What do I do if I don’t have cell phone service in my area?

    You need cell phone service and a good signal to send your transmissions via cell service from your bedside monitor.  You do not need to have a cell phone, just good signal in your area.

    If you do not have good cell service in your area, then tell the technicians the day of the procedure or tell the Device Nurses so that you can obtain an adaptor to connect to a landline phone at your bedside.

    How long will I have an insertable cardiac monitor?

    Your doctor will determine how long the ICM is used. Once your doctor has received enough information to assist in your diagnosis and care plan, the device can be removed in quick and simple procedure. The battery life of the monitor is approximately 3 years.

    Can I move my Patient Monitor or travel with it?

    Yes. Just plug in your Patient Monitor to an electrical outlet within 6.5 feet of where you will be sleeping.  As long as there is adequate cellular signal, your automatic transmissions will continue to be sent to your doctor.

    Can I have a MRI while I have an insertable cardiac monitor?

    Reveal brand Insertable Cardiac Monitors have been demonstrated to pose no known hazards in a MRI environment. For Reveal LINQ™ ICM’s, there is no MRI waiting period after the insertion procedure. For Reveal® XT/DX ICM’s, patients must wait 6 weeks after their insertion procedure for an MRI to allow sufficient time for implant pocket and wound healing.  Let your physician or MRI staff know you have a Reveal® Insertable Cardiac Monitor and show your device certification card to them.

    Why is it important to leave my Patient Monitor plugged in at all times?

    The information from you ICM is collected and transmitted automatically while your sleep as well as when you send in manual transmissions. Your monitor will periodically check for software updates.

    How do I know if my clinic has received my transmission?

    The date on the screen shows the last successful transmission to your clinic. The date shown may or may not update daily. If it has been several days, move the Patient Monitor within 6.5 feet of where you sleep, and move any electronic items away from it. If no date shows, you will need to do your first (setup) transmission.

    Preop Instructions

    Your procedure is done with local numbing and no anesthesia or sedation. You can eat and drink that day and take your medicines as normal, and you do not need someone to drive yourself home.

    You will want to go to the Heart and Vascular Center on 2nd Floor in the Main Hospital at the appointed time and plan to be here about a couple of hours.

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