Pacemaker and Defibrillator Therapy

Lynda Gallagher, BSc., RN, CCN(C), CCDS, Nurse, talks about pacemakers and defibrillators, how they are inserted and their functionality. Southlake Regional Health Centre

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Lynda Gallagher, BSc., RN, CCN(C), CCDS, Nurse, talks about pacemakers and defibrillators, how they are inserted and their functionality. Southlake Regional Health Centre
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Featuring Lynda Gallagher, BSc., RN, CCN(C), CCDS, Nurse Southlake Regional Health Centre

Duration: 1 minute, 47 seconds

There are two different types of implantable cardiac devices. One is called a pacemaker. A pacemaker is designed for patients that have a slow or sluggish heart rate, or require the ability to increase their heart rate with activity when their own natural heart rates will not do that.

The other type of a device is called an implantable cardiac defibrillator, or an ICD. An ICD is a larger device, and it’s designed with all of the pacemaker capabilities built inside, as well as the ability to identify a lethal heart rhythm such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, and apply therapies to break that rhythm to prevent sudden cardiac death.

There are two different types of pacemakers. One is the traditional transvenous type of pacemaker. With this pacemaker, it is implanted under the skin, under your collarbone, and a lead is thread through the vein into the right atrium, the right ventricle and/or sometimes the surface of the left ventricle.

The other type of a pacemaker is called a leadless pacemaker. That pacemaker is implanted into your right ventricle, through a large catheter through your groin. Once your pacemaker or ICD is implanted, you will be seen by a nurse from the heart rhythm program right after the implant process. You will also be seen one week in the device clinic, at three months in the device clinic and every six months after that.

During this visit, the nurse from the heart rhythm program will be able to communicate with your ICD or pacemaker to determine if there’s any fast heart rates, slow heart rates, any arrhythmias that we need to be concerned about, and to ask you how you’re feeling with your new device.

Presenter: Lynda Gallagher, Nurse, Newmarket, ON

Local Practitioners: Nurse

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.