Pacemakers and Defibrillators
Pacemakers and Defibrillators: Procedure and FAQS: Arrhythmia is the improper beating of the heart. It is a disorder of your heart rate or rhythm that occurs when your heart beats too fast, too slowly, or irregularly. Arrhythmias usually occur due to problems in the electrical system of your heart.
Arrhythmia can be life-threatening. If your arrhythmia is serious, you may need a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). These devices help control your arrhythmia and also prevent life-threatening complications.
Difference between pacemaker and defibrillator
Pacemakers and Defibrillators; A pacemaker is a device that helps to control abnormal heart rhythms. It uses electrical pulses to control and prompt the heart to beat at a normal rhythm. A pacemaker can speed up a slow heart rhythm, reduce a fast heart rhythm, and coordinate an irregular heart rhythm.
A pacemaker can be used for patients with a slow heartbeat (bradycardia), fast heartbeat (tachycardia), and irregular heartbeat. A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart to aid in the proper pumping of blood when needed. Pacemakers can be implanted permanently (internal) or temporarily (external).
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a device that monitors the rhythms of the heart. It monitors the rhythms of the heart and delivers shocks if it senses dangerous rhythms to help normalize heart rhythms. An ICD can help control life-threatening arrhythmias. It is used to detect and control heart arrhythmias. Most new ICDs can function as both a pacemaker and a defibrillator. Most new ICDs can also record the heart’s electrical patterns when there is an abnormal heart rhythm.
Pacemaker and defibrillator combination therapy for recurrent ventricular tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia is a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very fast. This condition occurs due to a problem with the heart’s electrical impulses.
A pacemaker and defibrillator can be used to monitor and control recurrent ventricular tachycardia. These devices can be used to slow down and normalize the rhythms of the heart ventricles.
Pacemaker and defibrillator life expectancy
Pacemakers and defibrillators can last for 5-7 years when implanted. Pacemakers and defibrillators do not impact your life in any negative way. You can live a normal life with an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator as long as you keep to your doctor’s instructions and follow-up care.
What heart conditions require a pacemaker?
- Slow heart rhythm (bradycardia)
- Fast heart rhythm (tachycardia)
- Heart palpitations
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Can you have both a pacemaker and defibrillator?
Most new defibrillators function as both pacemakers and defibrillators. However, you can have both pacemaker and defibrillator without any complications.
How long can you live with a pacemaker or defibrillator?
The battery of a pacemaker or defibrillator generally lasts for 5-7 years. The battery will need to be changed when it runs out. The procedure for changing the battery is much simpler than the initial procedure. Your pacemaker or defibrillator will be checked periodically and more often towards the end of its battery life.
A pacemaker or defibrillator does not alter or reduce your life expectancy. You can live a normal life with a pacemaker or defibrillator as long as you adhere to all precautionary directions and follow-up care.
What heart conditions require a defibrillator?
- Fast heartbeat (ventricular tachycardia)
- Ventricular arrhythmia
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Does a pacemaker or defibrillator keep you alive?
A pacemaker or defibrillator can save the life of someone with severe arrhythmia. A pacemaker or defibrillator can prevent life-threatening cardiac conditions and can keep you alive if you have a severe arrhythmia. These devices can prevent sudden death that can arise from severe arrhythmia or other cardiac conditions that occur due to irregular heartbeat.
How serious is getting a defibrillator?
Getting a defibrillator requires minimally invasive surgery. The device is implanted in your chest area. You will be sedated and a local anesthetic will be administered to numb your chest area.
Small incisions will be made in your chest area. Using X-ray guidance, the cardiologist will guide the leads through a vein and attach them to the specific parts of your heart muscle. The other end of the leads will be attached to the pulse generator. The pulse generator will be placed in a pocket of skin on your chest, most often under your left shoulder.
The procedure takes between 1-3 hours. You will need to remain in the hospital for at least 24 hours to recover. You will be monitored during your stay in the hospital. You should recover fully within four to six weeks.
The procedure is a generally safe one. Implantation of a defibrillator may cause bleeding, pain, and infection at the incision site. You may also have an allergic reaction to the medications used during the procedure.
More serious but rare problems may occur such as:
- Blood clots
- Damage to your heart, valves, or arteries
- Fluid buildup around your heart
- Heart attack
- Collapsed lung
Can a person with a pacemaker be cremated?
The extreme heat from cremation chambers can cause the pacemaker device to explode. For this reason, a person can’t be cremated with a pacemaker. The pacemaker needs to be removed before the person is cremated.
What are 4 things to be avoided if you have a pacemaker device?
- Cell phones are generally safe to use but you need to keep cell phones at least 6 inches away from your device. Avoid carrying a cell phone in your breast pocket close to or over where your pacemaker was implanted.
- Avoid certain high-voltage or radar machines, such as radio or T.V. transmitters and arc welders. Also avoid high-tension wires, radar installations, or smelting furnaces.
- Avoid MRI machines or other large magnetic fields. Large magnetic fields may affect the programming or function of the pacemaker.
- Turn off large motors when working on them. They may temporarily confuse and alter the results of the pacemaker as a result of the magnetic fields created by these large motors.
What activities can you not do with a pacemaker?
- Avoid excessive physical activities such as leaning on your arms or stretching your arms overhead or behind you.
- Don’t rub your chest area around or near the incision where the pacemaker was implanted.
- Don’t lift heavy objects
- You may need to avoid driving for at least 6 months