I had a Medronic Dual Chamber P.M. install in March 2006 after collapsing with a full heart block. Since having the p.m. installed I have experienced episodes of feeling that I am going to blackout. These episode's last from a split second to 10 seconds. I have seen my cardiologist who has scanned my carotid arteries, heart, kidneys and I wore a heart monitor for ten days. In addition my p.m. has been checked several times and is functioning correctly. All test have shown that no abnormalities have been found. Has anybody experienced any similar symptoms.



by SMITTY - 2007-04-24 06:04:34

I will guess - I want to emphasis the word guess - that what you describe is syncope. It is a problem I have occasionally. It has been especially bad the last couple of days and I have no idea why. I’ve had syncope for at least 25 years, but I have never fallen or passed out, although there have been times I was certain that was going to happen. Below is some information which may help you.

“Syncope (SIN'ko-pe) is temporary loss of consciousness and posture, described as "fainting" or "passing out" although not all people do actually pass out. They just have feeling they are going to faint or pass out. It's usually related to temporary insufficient blood flow to the brain. It's a common problem, accounting for 3 percent of emergency room visits and 6 percent of hospital admissions.
It most often occurs when the blood pressure is too low and the heart doesn't pump a normal supply of oxygen to the brain.
What causes syncope? It may be caused by emotional stress, pain, pooling of blood in the legs due to sudden changes in body position, overheating, dehydration, heavy sweating or exhaustion. Syncope may occur during violent coughing spells (especially in men) because of rapid changes in blood pressure. It also may result from several heart, neurologic, psychiatric, metabolic and lung disorders. And it may be a side effect of some medicines.”


by bowlrbob - 2007-04-24 07:04:45

Your symptoms are exactly what i just described to my Dr. at my last visit. He has set my Medtronic up with Rate drop response. Since doing this I have not been dizzy or passed out but these very small episodes still happen quite often. Just like you describe them. He also said he has hear this from other patients before. so it is not uncommon. Smitty above is correct it most likely is VasoVagal syncope. That is what i was diagnosed with. Since the rate drop response was programed i have not passed out but the small very quick blackouts are disconcerting. Bowlrbob

Me too!

by boatman50 - 2007-04-24 08:04:43

Wow Les, you have described my symptoms also. I got my pm June 06 when my heart stopped. Told I have SSS and Vasovegal. But I have not been able to get an explaination as to why this happens or what cxan be done. I had been on Pindolol and now Toprol. I go to the EP Tuesday and hope he can help. It seems the more active I am the more episodes of near fainting I have. I had one last Thursday and one on Friday and still feel wiped out from it. When I saw my cardiologist and the Pacer clinic the nurse said I really should have a pm with the sudden brady feature, like Bob has above.


by randrews - 2007-04-24 09:04:31

I also have had these feelings. They seem to come on at any time. I've learned to not panic when they hit. I just hang tight and fight through them. I believe I see a connection with stress for me. And if they are bad they really leave me wiped out for quit a while. I haven't actually been diagnosed with vasolvagal but I hear many things can trigger it, like stress. I'll reach 6 weeks since I got my pm and then I hope to get more active. I hope the incidents don't increase like Bob has mentioned.
Take care,

Funny feelings

by ela-girl - 2007-04-24 10:04:39

Most times when I have blacked out, I have just gone with NO warning. Then other times, I get this funny feeling. The best way for me to describe it is like you're walking too fast and your head kinda feels like "whew." Then it's like all the noise goes to the background and I'm really cognizant of my thoughts. Weird. Whether I blackout or get these feelings that last for a minute or so, it takes my body days to find homeostasis. Since my pm, I haven't blacked out but have had some of these funny feeling spells.

I have bradycardia, heart block, and VVS. I also take Toprol XL 50mg. My old cardiologist said I was too young for anything serious to be going on, so he wanted to just keep medicating me. When he did run tests, nothing ever showed up (except on the tilt table). And my funny feelings/blackouts came and went with no rhyme or reason. So even wearing a monitor for 10 days never caught it. How frustrating!

bowlrbob or boatman: what is this rate drop response (sudden brady feature) you speak of?? what kind of device do you have bowlrbob? i have rate response turned on in my pm, is this the same thing??

Anyways...have any of you had feelings close to what I've described??? I would LOVE to know!

Happy pacing,

re funny feelings

by boatman50 - 2007-04-24 11:04:27

Hi ela-girl, the feelings you describe are very similar to mine, and I try to get past them as randrews does. Like you say, it can take days to get back to a normal feeling. Like being in a fogbank the last few days.
I believe the sudden brady feature can feel the imminent drop in heart rate and will speed up your heart for a spurt to offset the effects. I will know more next week. I do know that my pm does not have it! At this point I will try anything and would go for another operation if the EP suggests it as opposed to another type of medicine. Not to wish this on anyone, but I am so glad that someone else can relate to what happens with this.

re info

by Susan - 2007-04-25 09:04:11

Hi Les-
I've had my pacemaker for several years and just recently I began experienceing short episodes of feeling dizzy and almost passing out just like you described. When I went for my interrogation, I mentioned them to the technician and the cardiologist and they reviewed by report and pointed out that at the previous interrogation another techinician had lowered by battery voltage to save the battery. Actually, it was lowered quite a bit. So they raised the voltage and the dizzy, light headed episodes disappeared.

re updates

by boatman50 - 2007-04-25 09:04:42

I will certainly keep you posted on whatever I find out. One thing thats funny(weird) is this can come on anytime. I can be in the middle of a lift with weights, walking on the tredmill, sitting, or standing. No ryhme or reason. PM always checks out fine at the pacer clinic, they say it happens so fast (even though the effects linger) that its not recorded.


by ela-girl - 2007-04-25 12:04:55

...will you keep us updated on what your EP says about the sudden brady feature?? I would like to know! You can always private message me, too.


Me, too

by ela-girl - 2007-04-30 02:04:05

My spells come on fast, too, almost without rhyme or reason. I could be doing anything--just like boatman describes. In fact, when I went into the hospital for the emergency pm surgery, the nurse wanted me to let her know when I had any of these feelings...she just forgot to mention to me that I was supposed to let her know! Anyways...when she finally came in to check on me, I told her I had had some spells and gave her the times. She said that all the nurses were told to watch my monitor and that they never caught anything out of the ordinary. Sure enough, when she went back and looked at my montitor recordings for the times I gave her, there were the rate drops! That's how quick it can come and go!


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