Everything you must know about Pacemaker

Pacemaker seems to be a familiar word, isn’t it? Yes, it is what you think. It is a medical device that makes and maintains the pace of your heartbeat artificially. To know more about its features and details, go through the whole article presented by Swayam Care.

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What is Pacemaker?

Our heart contracts and relaxes to ensure blood flow and circulation. The speed of blood flow needs to be consistent and, that pace originated from rhythmic impulses. SA node in the heart is responsible for impulse production. It is because there is a high concentration of pacemaker cells in that region. Hence, it is the natural pacemaker of the heart. Failure in the electrical conduction system in the heart causes variation in the pace of blood flow and, thus, heartbeat. This situation needs immediate medical attention because it can threaten the patient’s life.

Treating the pacemaker cells is not possible yet, but they can be assisted and aided. The best and attest medical device of help is an artificial pacemaker. It is a medical device that generates electrical impulses. That is then sent to the heart chambers via electrodes. In short, it supports or even replaces the electrical conduction system of the heart.

Working

You might be wondering how are these signals produced? How do they help in heartbeat pace regulation and control? Though the tech behind it is complex, the answer is quite simple.

The pacemaker consists of a pulse generator. This part helps in the production of electrical impulses at low energy levels. Wires or leads implanted in the heart carry these pulses into the heart. But, when does the pacemaker know that it should function? Electrodes come into play here. The electrodes in the equipment identify the change in heart pace rate. On detecting lower pace, it awakens the equipment and puts it into function.

The data from the equipment can not only be recorded and stored but can also be sent to the doctor. According to the data, the doctor can implement the necessary changes required in the pacemaker. It is also useful for telemedicine application of monitoring heart conditions of the patients, which is now easier due to wireless pacemakers. Their functioning is the same as that of traditional pacemakers. Usually, wireless ones are for patients with bradycardia.

Types of Pacemaker

Depending on the location and working mechanism, pacemakers come under different categories. Internal or External and Temporary or Permanent are a few other bases of classification. But, the basic types are:

Single-chamber: The pacing lead is placed in either artery or ventricle and, there is only one pacing lead.

Dual-chamber: It infers to that pacemaker that has two lead. They are placed in both the artery and ventricle. It is very much relatable to the natural pacing system of the heart.

Biventricular: This one has three pace leads and, they will go to the artery and both the ventricles, respectively. The increase in lead further complicates the implant process.

Rate-responsive: Comparatively, this is a unique type because it has no leads. It comprises sensors that adjust the pacing according to the physical activity.

Application

Pacemakers are quite helpful in the treatment of arrhythmia. It refers to both the fast and slow pace of the heartbeat. Patients with abnormal heart functioning or pacing rely on this device for survival. The seriousness of the patient condition and age determines whether the use is permanent or temporary. The equipment also finds its use in patients diagnosed with conditions that alters heartbeat pace. Heart failure patients also rely on this piece of a medical device. Other than that, patients with the thick heart muscle and under beta-blocking medication need a pacemaker. Since it helps in the regulation of heartbeat, old age people facing heart issues are also recommended to use one. Their problem might not be affecting the heartbeat pace but additional support would not harm.

Cost and Pros and Cons

The device costs a fortune, just like its treatment. One pacemaker comes around ₹45000 to ₹150000. The overall implantation charge depends upon the hospital but, it will be an expensive treatment.

Pacemakers come with lots of advantages like immediate relief, long-lasting life, effective treatment, etc. Although, few areas need improvement like causing infection, malfunction, etc.

One must remember that it is not a cure to the existing solution. Instead, it is more of a supporting system for the heart. One instance that will explain this point is, one can get a heart attack in future. The pacemaker will not help to stop it but it can notify for help if it has access to the doctor. And, it ensures that you won’t have breathing trouble due to an irregular heartbeat.

References

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pacemakers

https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/ablation-pacemakers

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