A pacemaker can relieve some arrhythmia symptoms, such as fatigue and fainting. A pacemaker also can help a person who has abnormal heart rhythms resume a more active lifestyle.
What does a Pacemaker do?
An implanted electronic pacemaker mimics the action of your natural pacemaker. An inserted pacemaker consists of three main components:
- The pulse generator - has a sealed lithium battery and an electronic circuitry package. The pulse generator produces the electrical signals that make the heart beat. Most pulse generators also have the capability to receive and respond to signals that are sent by the heart itself.
- Leads - One to three flexible, insulated wires are each placed in a chamber, or chambers, of your heart and deliver the electrical pulses to adjust your heart rate.
- Electrodes, which are found on each lead.
Pacemakers monitor your heartbeat and, if it's too slow, the pacemaker will speed up your heart rate by sending electrical signals to your heart. In addition, most pacemakers have sensors that detect body motion or breathing rate, which signals the pacemaker to increase your heart rate during exercise to meet your body's increased need for blood and oxygen.
Click here to read the differences between defibrillators and pacemakers.
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