A pacemaker uses electrical pulses to keep the heart in rhythm, neither beating too slow nor too fast, and a defibrillator shocks the heart if it detects a dangerous rhythm disturbance, preventing cardiac arrest. A defibrillator also has the capabilities of a pacemaker, regulating heart rhythm if necessary.Continue Reading
Pacemakers and defibrillators are small devices implanted in the chest. The patient is admitted to the hospital for the procedure. During minor surgery, the doctor makes an incision, places the device under the skin, attaches its wires to veins that lead to the right side of the heart, and then closes the incision.
Pacemakers and defibrillators are custom programmed to meet the medical needs of the individual patient. Each is activated only by specific heart rhythm activity, and many defibrillators record the electrical patterns of the heart during an abnormal cardiac event to help the doctor plan appropriate treatment. During follow-up visits, they are read and programmed through the skin, using a computer program, so no further surgery is necessary unless the lithium battery needs replaced.
People with pacemakers or defibrillators must avoid large magnetic fields, such as those found with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ultrasounds or CT scans. They do not have to worry about using microwaves or other household appliances.Learn more about Cardiac Health
A heart defibrillator is used to send an electric shock to the heart in an effort to restore its natural rhythm. Various types of defibrillators are made that achieve this goal in different ways. The normal defibrillator seen on television or in hospitals is a manual external defibrillator.Full Answer >
Doctors use a pacemaker when an individual's heart beats too slowly or irregularly, according to MedlinePlus. It is a small, battery-operated device that is surgically implanted under a patient's skin and automatically sends signals to the heart to help it beat regularly.Full Answer >
A slow heart rate can indicate that something disrupted the electrical impulses that control the heart's rhythm, according to Mayo Clinic. A heart rate under 60 beats per minute, called bradycardia, is also normal in some healthy, physically active adults and can be normal during very deep sleep, notes the American Heart Association.Full Answer >
Sinus rhythm is the regular heartbeat controlled by the sinus node, or sinoatrial, the natural pacemaker of the heart. The sinus node is located in the right upper chamber of the heart, claims MedicineNet.Full Answer >