Friday, July 15, 2016


As we all know, our heart is one of the most vital organs housed within our body.  It must function without error within us at all times in order for us to maintain life.  Of course it works in conjunction with all of our other organs, but if one organ becomes compromised, so will the others.  Heart problems are familiar to some of us and they can occur in individuals of any age.  Some of us develop heart problems as we go about our lives and age, whereas others are born with them. 

Installation of a pacemaker may be an option recommended for you at some point in your life as a result of various heart issues.  An artificial pacemaker is a battery-powered device that stimulates the heart with an electrical current when the natural pacemaker of the heart fails to maintain the appropriate rhythm.  Pacemakers may be temporary or permanent depending upon what your condition warrants.  It is interesting and good to know as well just what pacemakers are made of.  Parts of a pacemaker include:

ü  The pulse generator.  This area houses the battery and the control center of the pacemaker so that it knows when to fire to maintain an acceptable heart rhythm.
ü  The electrodes.  These are wires that actually attach to your heart muscle on one end and then connect to the pulse generator on the other end.

If you have a temporary pacemaker placed, there are 3 possible options that your provider had to research to decide which one was the most appropriate for your condition.  The energy sources of a temporary pacemaker is provided by an external battery pack.  Following are simple descriptions related to temporary pacemakers.

ü  External pacemaker
o   Pacing energy is delivered externally through the muscles in the chest wall to the heart via two electrode patches that are placed on the skin.
o   This type requires a larger amount of electricity in order to maintain heart rhythm, which may be quite painful for individuals when the pacemaker fires.
ü  Epicardial pacemaker
o   Leads of the pacemaker are attached directly to the heart during open-heart surgery.  The wires then extend out through the chest incision, and may be attached to an external impulse generator if needed.
o   Most commonly used during, and immediately after open-heart surgery.
ü  Endocardial pacemaker
o   Pacing wires for this type are threaded through a large central vein of your body and lodged directly into the wall of the right ventricle, right atrium, or both chambers of the heart.  Placement of wires will be based on your needs.

Permanent pacemakers actually contain an internal pacing unit.  These types may also be recommended for you by your provider depending upon what your specific condition warrants.  Following is basic information related to reasons why you may be more of a candidate for a permanent pacemaker.

ü  Permanent pacemakers are intended for chronic or recurrent abnormal heart rhythms that are due to malfunction of a certain area within your heart.
ü  Permanent pacemakers can be programmed to pace the atria, ventricle, or both heart chambers.
ü  The pacemaker mode will be discussed with you by your provider with placement.

There are several symptoms that may warrant your provider to recommend placement of a pacemaker.  You may see symptoms in yourself or your loved one such as dizziness, complaints of a racing heart, chest pain, chest pressure, increased anxiety, feeling tired, experiencing nausea, and having difficulty breathing.  From a clinical standpoint healthcare professionals with Total Home Health may notice signs such as individuals having a heart rate that is either too fast or too slow, having an abnormal rhythm if an EKG is done, shortness of breath, restlessness, low blood pressure, vomiting, and sweating. 

If you have a pacemaker you have probably already been educated on just about everything that you have read, but hopefully you have learned something too!  Anyway, if you do not yet have your pacemaker the procedure for its placement will depend solely on which one is chosen for you.  You will be educated on all of the risks and benefits of the procedure, complications of what could occur once you get your pacemaker, and anything else that your provider feels is important.  Plus, any questions or concerns that you may have will be answered by your health care professional before the procedure takes place.

Total Home Health has a program that is suitable for all your needs once you have a pacemaker.  Our nurses will bring our fantastic services to your home to tend to all your needs that may have become put on hold due to having a pacemaker placed.  Our nursing staff are always attentive to even the slightest changes to your condition, and will report any abnormal findings to the provider immediately in order to keep you in the best possible health.  Don’t forget our staff will always treat you as one of our own, so never hesitate to ask any questions or express concerns, we will be here for you 24/7/365.  Enroll today and we’ll see to it that you have the best possible pacemaker experience.

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