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Is a pacemaker and defibrillator the same thing?

Views:0     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-04-05      Origin:Site

Many people may not know the difference between a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), but if recommended by your primary care doctor or cardiologist, it is important to understand the basic functions and differences of these life-saving devices. 


The following knowledge points are listed below:

What is a pacemaker

What is a defibrillator

Differences between the two

1. What is a pacemaker

A pacemaker is a small device installed on the chest or abdomen of a patient. These weigh approximately 20-50 grams.

The pacemaker consists of a pulse generator. This includes a battery, a small computer circuit and one or more wires to the heart. These wires are pacing wires.

Electrical pulses are transmitted to the heart through wires to set the pacing rate.

Almost all modern pacemakers work on demand. The auxiliary signal from the pacemaker regulates the heart rhythm.

Reasons for using pacemakers include:

a. Bradycardia (slow heartbeat)

b. Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)

c. Heart block (irregular heartbeat due to abnormal signal transmission)

d. Cardiac arrest (a problem in which electrical signals in the heart stop the heart from beating)

2. What is a defibrillator

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a similar device that can monitor your heart rhythm. However, there is a key difference: if the defibrillator detects a dangerous heart rhythm, it can also shock your heart.

When the heart starts pumping too fast, it may begin to contract before the ventricles fill with blood, causing a cardiac arrest. The implantation of the ICD is similar to a pacemaker, which can detect irregular rhythms and generate life-saving shocks.

Now almost all icd have pacemaker function. A pacemaker is a stable hand that guides your heart through every day, while a defibrillator is a guardian angel, ready to protect your safety if your heartbeat becomes dangerous and irregular.

Whether you need a pacemaker, a pacemaker, or both, Oklahoma Heart Hospital will help. Our Heart Rhythm Institute has multiple clinics throughout the state, treating various heart rhythm problems. Please contact us immediately to schedule an appointment with our experts.

3. Differences between the two

In electrophysiology, we treat heart rhythm problems, such as the heart becoming irregular, fast or slow. There are many ways to treat heart rhythm problems. If the heart rate becomes very slow and cannot be treated with medication changes, then a pacemaker is needed.

The role of a pacemaker is to keep the heart beating at an appropriate speed, not a slow heartbeat. If time is not needed, it can be shocking.

The implanted defibrillator is a larger device. It is used to prevent death from cardiac arrest. If an electric shock is required, this device will shock the heart because the heart rhythm disorder in the lower part of the heart can be life-threatening. It can correct this rhythm. Because it has a built-in pacemaker, the defibrillator also has the ability to stimulate the heart like a pacemaker, sometimes helping to stop the fast rhythm and prevent the heart from being too slow.

Pacemaker implantation can be performed under local anesthesia, but most patients prefer sedation, so we use conscious sedation so that patients can respond to us. Unless we use general anesthesia, we generally don't put a tube in the throat of most people.

For defibrillator implantation, we must use a lot of conscious sedation because we need test equipment. We let the patient undergo a cardiac arrest and use a defibrillator to restore the patient to a normal heart rhythm. This may sound scary, but in fact this is a very safe program. We are prepared for all consequences, this is a must. During device testing, it requires deeper sedation.

For a dual-ventricular device, we insert the lead into the left side of the heart through a vein, and the insertion of the device and lead is much more complicated. Implants are more challenging and take longer.


In a word, a pacemaker keeps your heart beat steadily, while a defibrillator shocks your heart if needed. Our main product including Medical Furniture, In vitro Diagnostics, contact us now!




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