Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can one tell if they have a faulty pacemaker?"
How exactly can you tell if the pacemaker they give you works or is faulty? I have a pacemaker ever since I had a heart incident several years ago (I'm a woman, age 62), and they do test the batteries, but how would they know if it is working at all?
Pacemakers and defibrillators are life saving medical devices that are used to keep the rhythm of the heart in working order. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss the functioning of your device with you in greater detail include your cardiologist or electrophysiologist. Pacemakers are devices used to pace the heart rhythm. Defibrillators are used to sense life threatening fast heart rhythms and shock you out of them. Often both devices are combined together in a single device. Both devices should be regularly monitored by your cardiologist. Special devices are used either over the phone or in person to interrogate the pacemaker's internal computer to make sure that it is working as it should be and also to make sure that there is plenty of battery power left. Of course any symptoms that suggest to you that the device is not working, such as dizziness, fainting, chest pain, or palpitations, should be reported immediately to you doctor. As always the management of the care of your device is best done in collaboration with the cardiologist who first put it in or with another cardiologist specialized in the care of pacemakers. Setting up an office visit to discuss your concerns is advised.
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