Device Clinic (Pacers/ Defibrillators)

Your heart has an electrical system that keeps it beating at the right pace. Problems with this system can make heart beat too slow or suddenly too fast. Both slow and fast heart rhythms can be dangerous even deadly. Physicians may recommend a pacemaker or defibrillator to help correct these electrical problems. The following information discusses the device function, care, and follow-ups.

  Pacemakers

  •  Small electrical device that helps correct at slow heartbeat. The device is a tiny computer designed to send electrical signals to the heart. The electrical signals tell the chambers when to contract and squeeze the blood out of that chamber.
  •  Pacemakers do not correct a fast heart rhythm. The device is capable of keeping record of abnormal heart rhythms, but is unable to correct them.
  •  Pacemakers do not correct Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. However, it allows the use of certain medications that might normally make your heart rate too slow.
  •  Two types of pacemakers are available single-chamber and dual-chamber. Single chamber is one lead located in the right ventricle. Dual chamber has 2 leads one in the top right atrium and bottom right ventricle. Physician will choose device based upon history and heart rhythm.
Defibrillators/ICD’s
  •  Device helps protect the heart against fast abnormal heart rhythms. A very fast heart rhythm can be dangerous, even deadly.
  •   If a fast abnormal heart rhythm is detected by the device a shock may be delivered to attempt to restore rhythm back to normal.
  •  Defibrillators have the capability to pace the heart if heart rate should become too slow.
  •  The physician will choose one of three ICD’s based on medical history and inclusion criteria.
  •  Defibrillators/ICD’s do not correct Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter.