Pacemakers and Defibrillators
The Device Clinic serves patients with state-of-the-art equipment to test, care and analyze all types of implantable cardiac devices (ICD) by cardiac experts from the International Heart Institute.
The heart has a natural pacemaker (the SA node) and sometimes the electrical signals sent out becomes either too slow, too fast or too irregular to have the heart beat correctly. People with these types of conditions are may be recommended to get a pacemaker or an ICD.
A permanent pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin near the collarbone and sends an electrical signal to regulate the heartbeat. A permanent pacemaker may be used to make the heart beat if the heart's natural pacemaker is not functioning properly and has developed an abnormally slow heart rate or rhythm, or if the electrical pathways are blocked.
A pacemaker or ICD is made up of three main components:
- A pulse generator which 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.
- One or more wires (also called leads). Leads are insulated flexible wires that conduct electrical signals to the heart from the pulse generator. The leads also relay signals from the heart to the pulse generator. One end of the lead is attached to the pulse generator and the electrode end of the lead is positioned in the atrium (the upper chamber of the heart) or in the right ventricle (the lower chamber of the heart). In the case of a biventricular pacemaker, leads are placed in both ventricles.
- Electrodes, which are found on each lead.