What are some types of cardiac pacemakers?
Cardiac pacemakers serve two functions, they either prompt the heart to beat or they try to regulate the rhythm. There is an old saying in cardiology circles, "you either need a pacemaker or you don't". In other words, there is no in between. If you need a pacemaker, you need it right now, not in the morning.
Basically, three types exist:
1. Fixed rate ( asynchronous), this type delivers a fixed rate to the myocardium regardless of the spontaneous myocardial depolarizations.
2. Demand (synchronous), delivers a pacing stimulus to the myocardium only when the hearts intrinsic rate falls below a predetermined rate.
3. AV sequential ( dual chamber pacing), delivers a pacing stimulus to both the atria and ventricles.
The most common type in use is the demand or synchronous.When pacemakers deliver their stimulus they usually only deliver it to the ventricles. So, AV sequential's are not rare, but not nearly used as often as #1 or #2.
Cardiac pacemakers are electronic devices that use electronic impulses to maintain or restart a heart beat. Many pacemakers are implanted under the skin of the individual. Below is a list of different types of permanent pacemakers:
- Demand pacemakers- monitors the heart and only charges when the heart is too slow or misses a beat.
- Fixed rate pacemakers- discharges at a steady rate, regardless of the hearts electrical activity.
- Rate responsive pacemakers- raises and lower heart rate in response to physical activity or lack of activity.
There are also temporary pacemakers that are utilized. These are usually used in hospitals when an event is expected to resolve itself. When using a temporary pacemaker it is located outside of the body and monitored continuously.