Definition of "pacemaker."
It is a pulse generator and a catheter electrode, which is inserted into the right atrium or ventricle.
An artificial electrical stimulus is provided to the heart muscle to create a heart beat.
A pacer can be inserted for temporary or long-term pacing.
Three types of pacemakers and how the pacer is set.
The first letter describes the chamber that will be paced (ventricle, atrium, or dual).
The second letter represents the chamber that will be sensed (ventricle, atrium, dual, or neither).
The third letter reflects the mode that will be used (triggered, inhibited, or dual).
Care for the site and how to recognize wound infection.
Assess wound and report signs and symptoms of infection.
Avoid constrictive clothing.
Avoid bumping pulse generator.
Take pulse for one full minute daily and report if rate is less than set amount.
Report excessive palpitations, vertigo, and syncope.
Avoid areas of high voltage such as power plants, radio transmitters, large industrial magnets, and certain anti-theft alarm systems.
Carry a pacemaker identity card, which includes the settings and function of the pacer, the pacemaker manufacturer, and the telephone number of physician and hospital.
Avoid any type of trauma to pulse generator.
Inform airport officials at the metal detector about pacemaker and show identification card.
Post-operative activity orders.
Follow instructions written by physician regarding driving, sexual relations, exercise, etc.
Most activities can be resumed in four to six weeks.
Have checkups as instructed.
Have regular battery checks, which may be done at the hospital or at home via telephone system.
Signs and symptoms of possible complications.
Pacemaker malfunction (palpitations, dizziness, syncope, slow heart rate, prolonged hiccuping, chest pain).