The pacemaker clinic duties include:
- Adminsitering diagnostic tests.
- Checking pacemakers for regular evaluations and reprogramming.
- Scheduling follow-up appointments, and telephonic checks.
- Holter Scanning.
- Wound site evaluations for new implant.
- Keeping an updated patient file system in the pacemaker art computer and pacemaker patients charts in file cabinets.
An arrhythmia is any disorder of your heart rate or rhythm. It means that your heart beats too quickly, too slowly or with an irregular pattern. Most arrhythmias result from problems in the electrical system of the heart. If your arrhythmia is serious, you may need one of two devices implanted under your skin: a cardiac pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
A pacemaker monitors the electrical impulses in the heart. When needed, it delivers electrical pulses to make the heart beat in a more normal rhythm. A pacemaker may be helpful when the heart beats too slowly or has other abnormal rhythms. An ICD is a device that monitors heart rhythms. If it senses dangerous rhythms, it delivers shocks. Many ICDs record the heart’s electrical patterns when there is an abnormal heartbeat. This can help the doctor plan future treatment.
Comparison of an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator and a Pacemaker
The illustration compares an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and a pacemaker. Figure A shows the location and general size of an implantable cardiac defibrillator in the upper chest. The wires with electrodes on the ends are inserted into the heart through a vein in the upper chest. Figure B shows the location and general size of a double-electrode pacemaker in the upper chest. The wires with electrodes on the ends are inserted into the heart through a vein in the upper chest.
What Is a Pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed under the skin of your chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.
Pacemakers are used to treat heart rhythms that are too slow, fast, or irregular. These abnormal heart rhythms are called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). Pacemakers can relieve some symptoms related to arrhythmias, such as fatigue (tiredness) and fainting. A pacemaker can help a person who has an abnormal heart rhythm resume a more active lifestyle.
Faulty electrical signaling in the heart causes arrhythmias. A pacemaker uses low-energy electrical pulses to correct faulty electrical signaling.
- Speed up a slow heartbeat
- Help end an abnormal and fast rhythm (only in implantable cardioverter defibrillator/pacemaker combination devices)
- Make sure the ventricles contract normally if the atria are quivering instead of beating in a normal rhythm (a condition called atrial fibrillation)
- Coordinate the electrical signaling between the upper and lower chambers of the heart
- Coordinate the electrical signaling between the ventricles (cardiac resynchronization therapy used in heart failure)
Pacemakers also can monitor and record your heart’s electrical activity and the rhythm of your heartbeat. Newer pacemakers can monitor your blood temperature, breathing rate, and other factors and adjust your heart rate to changes in your activity.
Pacemakers can be temporary or permanent. Temporary pacemakers are used to treat temporary heartbeat problems, such as a slow heartbeat due to heart attack, heart surgery, or an overdose of medicine. Temporary pacemakers are used in emergencies until a permanent pacemaker can be implanted or until the temporary condition goes away. A person with a temporary pacemaker will stay in the hospital as long as the pacemaker is in place.
The information provided on this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Such information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended to provide complete medical information. Only your doctor can diagnose and treat medical problems. Consult your physician if you want more information on the procedures and tests that are described on this website.