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Dos and Don’ts with a Cardiac Pacemaker

07 Aug 2010
Posted by mukesh

A Cardiac Pacemaker is a device placed externally or internally to treat patients with irregular heartbeat. Naturally, the heart beats are controlled through electrical impulses from sinus node. A pacemaker is administered to the patients with ‘cardiac arrhythmia’ when this natural system fails and results in heart problems with too slow, too quick, or an abnormal heart beat pattern.

External pacemakers are generally deployed on temporary basis to control heartbeat pattern until the  installation of a permanent pacemaker. Permanent pacemakers are set into the body (chest) under the layer of skin and fat and just beneath the left collar bone of the patient, through a surgery. The modern versions come in size of a matchbox and weighs approximately 20-50 grams only. The components include  a pulse generator, a sensor, electronic circuits, a lithium battery, and one or more electrode leads.

Generally, after successful installation of a pacemaker, the patient can return to normal routine in about a week or so. They are safe and trouble-free. However there are some common dos and don’ts that one must take care of and they are: 

  • Patients with a permanent cardiac pacemaker should take regular check-ups to ensure that the device is working properly.
  • People having cardiac pacemaker installed in their body should not venture into contact sports like rugby and boxing, which may cause damage to the device.
  • Persons with pacemaker should avoid proximity with strong magnetic devices such as MRI scanner, or any other scanners before surgeries as magnetic rays can interfere with the pacemaker program.
  • If traveling, person with a cardiac pacemaker should inform the security staff/authorities about the pacemaker device in advance as it may get detected by the electric security system and may whistle a siren.
  • Even when getting checked with hand-held metal detector, the patients should ensure that they do not pass the detector direct over the device. Generally all cardiac pacemaker patients are provided with a International Pacemaker Patient Identification Cards, which you must carry along to avoid such situations.
  • Heart patients with a cardiac pacemaker installed should avoid diathermy (heat therapy) to treat muscles.
  • It is also advisable that patients should turn-off large motors , such as those in cars or boats, while performing repair or any other work on them as they may create problem in the device.   
  • In case of going through any surgical procedure by a surgeon or a dentist, let the doctor know about the device first. In some cases, the surgeon may need to turn-off the device before operation.

Above all, don’t work on presumptions. Always clear each and every doubt / confusion from your doctor lest you should put yourself in trouble.
Cardiac Pacemakers are safe and trouble-free. Proper care and regular check-ups can save the life of heart patients. A little care and caution in using cardiac pacemaker can improve the patient’s quality of life very much.



Pacemaker response to extreme pressure question....

I have recently been outfitted with a pacemaker due to an errant procedure in an RF Ablation. I am a rope access worker and know that it will be uncomfortable for me to get 'over the wall' due to placement of my chest and shoulders during this operation. I feel I can learn to mitigate this uncomfortable positioning however am concerned that if I do take a fall and need to rely on my fall protection harness for restraint it could potentially exert forces of a 100mph car crash on my harness similar to a seatbelt. Is this potentially problematic or completely safe with regard to the device? ie How much force can be exerted directly on the pacemaker in lbs before potential arises for device failure?



Is it possible to use a cnc

Is it possible to use a cnc machine?

Hand scanning machine impact on pacemaker user?

My uncle is in on pacemaker can he scan his hand on hand scanning machine in office for attendance purpose? please required urgent reply .

Is it safe to undergo a

Is it safe to undergo a pacemaker surgery for 2:1 AV node block while suffering from asthma? i am 50, suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure since past 6 years?


Okay so here it goes. I am a 25 year old female. I work in the united states air
force as a weapons loader. About a year ago now I was diagnosed with
inappropriate sinus tachycardia. I have had the full work up. EKGS-sinus
tach/svt, Ultra sounds- normal, stress test- normal but only was able to walk a
few mins before my hr hit 200, drug test- normal, therapist-normal,
pheocomocytoma-neg, carcinoid- neg, tilt table- neg, xrays- neg, event monitors
show almost consitant IST with some SVT, I have had 2 sinus node modifications
and they didnt work in fact it feels like it has just made it worse, along with
this I am unable to tolerate the heat, drive because I have black outs, I have
had a carotid art. ultra sound it was normal, walk very far with out my heart
beating so fast i want to black out, i have trouble sleeping because i can
always here and feel my heart rate, I always have chest
pain/palpatations/fluttering feeling, and to top it off i also have cronic
migrains and it only aggrivates it. My doctor right now is ify on what step to
take next so I am looking for some ideas to present to him or an order, we have
discussed av node ablation w/pacer, epicardial w/ pacer, freezing part of the
heart, both sinus node and av node ablation w/ pacer, sinus node removal w/
pacer....what should I do? Also so far medications do not seem to help. Any advice is good advice...but I need to get back to a normal active life and serving my country if they allow me.


Is it ok for a person with a pacemaker to have reflexology treatments?

Im 16 years of age

I have Long QT Syndrome and I've also had this Pacemaker for about 5 years now. An I'm not understanding why can't run track or any contact sports because I have a brother and every year football season will come around it just brings me down because i cant play but see the thing i workout with my brother such: Running , playing basketball , throwing the ball , and I feel great after all of that y and I don't understand why play sports. Do you if there was a chance that I would proabally need a nurse or doctor at the games or something. Truthfully my doctors says all " it would be a big gamble or not safe to just go out in play a sport." but what I had extra padding as well though. But please if you can get back at me an answer Thank You!

I'm 22 years old and have a

I'm 22 years old and have a heart rate in the low 40's. My doctor still needs to do further testing but has mentioned that getting a pacemaker is a possibility. I was just wondering if there are any food,drinks or activities that I will have to stay away from if I get a pacemaker.. for example, caffiene,energy drinks,sugary foods,tanning beds,sexual intercourse,skydiving,ziplining,scuba diving.... stuff like that.. thnk u


I am a electrician and I am having a pacemaker installed next week. Due to the nature of my job I often get electrical shocks, will this restrict my working as an electrician?

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