Heart Pacemaker News

A pacemaker is an electronic device that helps the heart beat at the proper rhythm. It is typically used in individuals who have an arrhythmia that causes the heart to beat more slowly than it normally should. A pacemaker may be necessary for an individual with bradycardia (a slow heart rate), heart failure or syncope (fainting due to low heart rate). Though atrial fibrillation is known for causing a fast or chaotic heart rate, it can also sometimes cause the heart to beat too slowly, and a pacemaker can help individuals in this situation, as well.

More About Pacemakers

A pacemaker is a very small device. It weighs about an ounce and is the size of a big watch face. The insertion of a pacemaker does not require a major surgical procedure. When installed, it’s inserted into the body below the collarbone. The pacemaker has wires called leads that are attached to the heart on one end and the pacemaker at the other end. When the leads detect a slow heart rate, the pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart to speed it up. The settings of the pacemaker need to be checked periodically, but this can even be done with a phone with some modern pacemakers. The batteries of a pacemaker also need to be replaced every five to 10 years.

Types of Pacemakers

There are a few different types of pacemakers. Single chamber pacemakers have a lead that only goes to one chamber of the heart, while dual chamber pacemakers have two leads that are connected to two chambers. Biventricular pacemakers send leads to three chambers of the heart, most often for individuals with heart failure. There are also rate responsive pacemakers that can adjust the pace of the heart based on the individual’s level of activity at the time.

SOURCES: Heart Rhythm Society.

Date Posted
Article Title
8/10/2017
Obesity Slows Recovery for Heart Surgery Patients: Study

They're four times more likely to need more time in intensive care, three times more likely to be readmitted

4/2/2017
Heart Devices 101: Guide to the Tools That Keep You Ticking

FDA offers glossary of terms to help you understand your doctor's advice

2/22/2017
MRIs Can Be Safe for People With Heart Devices …

… if strict procedures are followed, researchers report

2/3/2017
What to Do If You Think You're Having a Heart Attack

Don't ignore chest pain and seek medical attention immediately, heart specialists say

11/14/2016
Marijuana Use Tied to Rare, Temporary Heart Malfunction

Study found risk doubled among young users, but cause-and-effect not proven

8/29/2016
Fewer Drugs in Pipeline to Treat World's No. 1 Killer

While number of cancer drugs rose, development of new heart medicines stalled, study finds

8/29/2016
People With Implanted Defibrillators at Higher Car Accident Risk

Danish study finds 51 percent greater odds, but absolute risk of a crash remains low

5/5/2016
Sleep Apnea May Raise Heart Risks in People With Pacemakers

Study found the combo was linked to raised odds of irregular heartbeat

4/7/2016
FDA Approves First Wire-Free Pacemaker

Heart experts explain that wire lead in typical pacemakers can malfunction and need repair

11/9/2015
Sex Is Safe for Heart Patients With a Defibrillator

New study should calm fears of patients and their partners, experts say

8/31/2015
Wireless Pacemaker Shows Promise in Early Trial

Though it can be placed in heart without surgery, unlike tradtional devices, some safety concerns remain

5/15/2015
Activity Improves Survival for Those With Implanted Defibrillators

People who are most active soon after getting heart device tend to live longer, researchers find

5/15/2015
World's Tiniest Pacemaker Seems Safe, Effective in Trial

Device is 93 percent smaller than prior pacemakers that are implanted through a vein

2/10/2015
Effectiveness of Implanted Defibrillators May Depend on Patient's Age

They extended survival in those at high risk for sudden cardiac death, but those over 70 saw less benefit, study found

11/19/2014
'Wireless' Pacemaker Working Well So Far, Researchers Say

Small, manufacturer-funded study of tiny device reports no complications

7/28/2014
Pacemakers Common for Those With Dementia and Irregular Heartbeats

Study couldn't explain why more dementia patients had operation, though families' wishes likely a factor

7/16/2014
Scientists Use Gene Therapy to Create 'Biological Pacemaker' in Pig Hearts

Technique might one day lead to the replacement of electronic pacemakers in humans, researchers say

6/23/2014
Heart Failure Therapy May Benefit Women More Than Men

But study finds they're less likely than males to receive pacemaker that synchronizes heartbeats

3/24/2014
Tiny Wireless Pacemaker Shows Early Promise

But complications can occur, study found, and more research is needed

2/27/2014
Study Questions FDA Warning Against CT Scans for Those With Heart Devices

It found no harm to patients with devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, but agency still concerned

1/21/2014
Implanted Devices Might Someday Run on Energy From Nearby Organs

Animal study finds way to harness power from internal motions

11/19/2013
'Smart' Pacemakers May Protect Heart From Further Damage

Study found 'on-off' devices were better than standard 'always on' devices in those with slow heartbeats

11/18/2013
Hospitalization Rates Soar for Irregular Heartbeat, Study Finds

Atrial fibrillation can lead to dangerous heart complications

9/12/2013
Health Tip: Will a Pacemaker Help Me?

It helps stabilize an irregular heartbeat

9/4/2013
New Method Cuts Radiation During Pacemaker Procedure: Study

Electromagnetic tracking system reduces time that live X-rays are needed during device implantation

8/13/2013
Study IDs Best Heart Failure Patients for Pacemakers

Two key measures separated those who would benefit from those who would not

5/9/2013
iPads Could Affect Implanted Heart Devices, Early Study Finds

Young researcher suggests that users avoid placing tablets too close to the chest

5/9/2013
Swimming Pools May Pose Hazard for People With Heart Devices

Electricity from pools' lighting systems might interfere with implanted defibrillators, case studies show

5/9/2013
Wireless Pacemaker Shows Promise in Early Study

Device implanted directly in the heart, but questions remain about long-term use, safety

5/7/2013
Programming Implanted Defibrillators to React More Slowly Might Be Safer: Study

Unnecessary shocks from the heart devices are often distressing, come with their own risks, experts say

4/15/2013
Health Tip: Don't Ignore Pacemaker Issues

Have it checked frequently

3/22/2013
Steady Rise in Heart Valve Infections Noted in U.S.

Many develop in health care facilities, researcher says

2/27/2013
Dog Study Raises Prospect of Biological Pacemaker for Humans

But experts say the concept, powered by gene therapy, will have to clear many hurdles to challenge the electronic kind

12/18/2012
Quality of Life Can Suffer for Kids With Heart Devices

Study suggests implanted cardiac defibrillators, pacemakers affect self-perception, behavior

12/12/2012
Fainting in Healthy People May Be First Sign of Heart Trouble

Large Danish study suggests that even a single swoon merits a thorough health evaluation

6/27/2012
Health Tip: Living With a Pacemaker

Be careful using cell phone or microwave

5/10/2012
Black Africans Less Apt to Develop Heart Rhythm Disorder Than Whites

This held true even though blacks had more risk factors for the condition than whites, study finds

5/2/2012
Less Invasive Heart Valve Replacement Works for Elderly: Study

Real-world results promising for high-risk aortic stenosis patients, researchers say

4/24/2012
Pacemakers, Defibrillators Sources of Deadly Infections: Study

As implanted heart devices increase, so do serious complications, research says

3/27/2012
Defibrillator Implantation May Be Riskier for Underweight Patients

Study suggests reasons may include frailty, other health conditions

2/28/2012
Family Tree May Aid Treatment of Inherited Heart Disorders

Archived data may help pinpoint age range when genetic heart rhythm disorder death risk rises

1/11/2012
Even When Silent, Irregular Heartbeat Linked to Stroke Risk

Study found people with pacemakers experienced atrial fibrillation without realizing it

12/15/2011
Donated Pacemakers From U.S. Safely Reused in India: Study

Reusing the devices after original recipient's death made the lifesaving procedure affordable

10/31/2011
Handheld Metal Detectors Don't Seem to Affect Pacemakers: Study

But more research is needed to confirm these findings, experts say

10/11/2011
Lasers Safe for Removal of Pacemaker Wires in Elderly: Study

The procedure, already used in younger patients, helps avoid open-heart surgery, researchers note

10/6/2011
MRI Safe With More Recent Defibrillators, Pacemakers: Study

People with newer implanted heart devices can have scans for other medical problems, research finds

8/22/2011
Infections Among Those With Heart Devices Has Doubled: Study

Researchers suggest growing number of sicker patients explains the increase

5/12/2011
Keep MP3 Headphones 2 Centimeters or More From Pacemaker: Study

Don't store them in a front pocket if you have a lifesaving cardiac device

3/29/2011
Just-Approved Defibrillators Limit Unnecessary Shocks

Medtronic devices said to recognize irregular heartbeat that's life-threatening

3/1/2011
Heart Devices Not Tested Enough in Women: Study

FDA disregards its own mandate for data on women in clinical trials, researchers contend