A normal heartbeat is created by electrical impulses that are
generated within a specialized area of the heart and travel down
specific pathways to stimulate the cardiac muscle to contract. In
some cases, if this natural "pacemaker" is dysfunctional for some
reason, a physician may opt to use an artificial electronic device
called a pacemaker to stimulate the heart. Pacemakers may stimulate
either the upper chambers of the heart (atria), or both the upper
and lower chambers (atria and ventricles). In addition, some
pacemakers are built with an internal device that can shock the
heart back into a regular rhythm if it stops (defibrillator).
In June of 2004, The Heart and Vascular Institute at Lima
Memorial became the first in the region to surgically place an
implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) in a patient. An ICD is a
small electronic device installed inside the chest to prevent
sudden death from cardiac arrest due to life threatening abnormally
fast heart rhythms (tachycardias), and ventricular fibrillation.
The ICD is capable of monitoring the heart rhythm. When the heart
is beating normally, the device remains inactive. If the heart
develops a life-threatening tachycardia, the ICD delivers an
electrical "shock(s)" to the heart to terminate the abnormal rhythm
and return the heart rhythm to normal. Due to the advanced
knowledge and experience of the Cardiologists and staff at Lima
Memorial, patients now have the opportunity to live with a
sustainable high quality of life, and the medical care they need.
And it is all provided close to their home!
Pacemakers are most commonly used to correct an abnormally slow
heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to one or more chambers of
the heart. However, there is a variety of conditions that may call
Pacemakers may be either permanent or temporary. A permanent
pacemaker is implanted into a patient's chest during a minor
surgical procedure. A short stay in the hospital may be required,
and some patients may need to take medications afterward that help
the heart maintain a normal rhythm.