Temporary Pacemakers

The patient's heart rate slows down dramatically because of the fact that impulse center in his heart can not create impulses at satisfactory rate or the impulse is interrupted for various reasons, and a normal heart rate should be re-established so that the patient maintains a normal life. An artificial pacemaker is needed to bring heart rate to a normal level.

Temporary pacemakers are utilized in emergencies or if the underlying cause of abnormal heart rhythm is expected to improve (e.g. drug-induced slowing down of heart’s operation, etc.) or until a permanent pacemaker is implanted.

Temporary cardiac pacing may be required in heart attack patients, patients with tachycardia after an open-heart surgery.

Implantation of a temporary pacemaker is done under local anesthesia. The procedure involves passing fine wires called electrodes through large veins leading from the neck or chest or groin to the heart, placing them in the heart and connecting them to a generator outside the body. In the case of temporary pacemakers, the generator running the pacemaker is quite large and located outside the body.

The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. When there is no more need for a temporary pacemaker, the wire placed inside the heart is removed.

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