pacing percentage

I am 80 years old and my pacemaker is set at 75 beat - it is pacing 80% of the time I am told.  Does a pacemaker keep you alive indefinitely?  LOL  sorry - just wondering - I really dont want to live to 100! lol


Keep alive?

by AgentX86 - 2019-10-07 22:00:20

Yes, a pacemaker keeps you alive until something else kills you.


by ROBO Pop - 2019-10-08 07:22:29

When your warranty expires, you body quits and you die. This is a very simple yet highly complex question, and many don't examine the real world reality of what happens.

Your pacemaker just stimulates the heart muscle at times intervals to keep it beating at a fairly constant rate at rest. When your body dies, the pacer will continue to try to stimulate your heart beats, but when it's your time that won't change that you are dead. The doctor will shut off the pacer when it's determined you are done.

Of course in my case the doctor keeps trying to turn it off before my time is up


by PamelaM - 2019-10-08 11:14:24

lol thanks guys - I meant die from the heart stopping - in other words - if I didnt have a pacemaker would I die from low heartbeat?

Die from a low heartbeat: not necessarily

by crustyg - 2019-10-08 11:46:16

If you suffer a sudden and complete heart block (perhaps from a large anterior heart attack) then the usual pacing impulses from your natural pacemaker, the sino-atrial node, can't get through to the ventricles.  Usually the conducting tissue will then start firing off on its own and you may drop into a heart rate around 15-25 bpm.  For most people, out of the blue, this won't sustain an adequate heart output, your blood pressure will drop and you will feel very faint or fall over.  Turning off your PM would be similar, but perhaps not quite as bad.  You've got something that drives your heart if you're only paced to 75bpm 85% of the time.

For heart attack patients in this situation the docs will start an IV infusion to drive the heart rate up while they put in a temporary pacing wire.

For you, the short answer is possibly yes, but probably no.  It won't be a fun experience, but you may not be that aware of it - the blood supply to your brain will probably be severely reduced and you may be quite drowsy or near unconscious.

Does that answer your question?


die from low heartbeat

by PamelaM - 2019-10-08 12:15:13

thanks crusty - yes that answers my question.  

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