Battery change

I am due to have my battery replaced around June will this still be done due to covid 19.

They told me on my last 2 pm checks that I needed this replacement but each time I went to my appointment they said they could squeeze another 3 months out of it as I was just at the point of needing it done my last appointment was on 2nd March and the virus was just starting so it seemed a good idea to put it off for a few months, I am now terrified it not going ahead or having it done and catching covid from the hospital what's your thoughts. It's the not knowing what's gona happen that scares me and I obviously can't call them to ask as they are all so busy



Ask them, Maureen

by IAN MC - 2020-04-25 09:40:30

Like you, I am in the UK , and am in a similar situation to yourself with a PM change due some time this year. I am confident that I will be fitted with a replacement PM at the appropriate time. 

If you need one in June, then you will get one in June.

Pacemaker patients will NOT be allowed  to perish because of Covid-19

You are wrong to assume that you can't call them " because they are too busy ".

Some hospital departments are incredibly busy, particularly those involved with critical / intensive care but your cardiology department should be functioning as normal.  In fact  there is evidence of a fall in the number of patients presenting with heart attacks ( probably due to patient fear of catching the dreaded virus )

Try ringing your pacemaker clinic and seek further information... you may be pleasantly surprised.

Also, all hospitals are very clearly separating the Covid-19 patients from those requiring routine medical care.


replacement time

by Tracey_E - 2020-04-25 11:01:39

There is always some flexibility in when we have it done because there are cushions built in to those estimates. The pacer isn't going to just stop with no notice, it'll switch modes first and cut back function and stay that way for about 3 months.  It's nice to replace it before that happens because if we pace a lot it doesn't feel good, but as long as that hasn't happened yet, you still have at least 3 months before it stops pacing altogether. Go ahead and call them, why wonder and worry? I'm no expert but I don't think a month or two from now will be much different risk-wise than now, so if it were me, I'd get it over with.

If this is your first replacement, it's a piece of cake. I'm on my 5th. If I get an early appointment, I'm home fixing my own lunch and twice I left for vacation less than a week later. The soreness is nowhere near what it was the first time because it's scar tissue, and the restrictions the first time are from new leads. Leads typically last through several generators. Good luck! 

NHS and Corvid-19

by Selwyn - 2020-04-25 17:03:18

There is plenty on  British TV today to say that the NHS has capacity to treat all patients and they should not be worried about Corvid-19 in the hospital service, and to present as usual. 

When you think about it, everyone working in the NHS has a vested interest in not spreading the coronavirus around their work place. I suspect you may even be safer in a hospital setting than in the community!  All Corvid patients are managed in seperate areas from none Corvid patients. Some are managed in negative pressure areas. All are managed with full aseptic techiques.  The hospital staff that have been infected are not front line staff. Front line staff are well trained and understand what needs to be done to keep safe. The same cannot be said of all staff working in the NHS. There is now adequate testing being done for all key workers ( when the software system does not crash due to overload!!)

At present there is UNDER utilisation of ordinary hospital care.  It would seem a good time to go and receive personal attention. 

This week, next month, in another 3 months. Corvid-19 is here to stay until some vaccine or treatment is found. You could well find yourself in the same situation in 6 months time!

Call them, and go if needed

by LondonAndy - 2020-04-25 18:22:55

I realise that what I am about to say does not compare with going to hospital for a surgical procedure, but just to illustrate: I needed an appointment with my GP to commence some new medication, and they are almost solely doing telephone consultations at present.  At 8.30am last Wednesday I went online to see abou an appointment - whereas there are normally waits of several days, I was able to book an appointment for 20 minutes later!  

So don't assume your pacemaker centre is too busy, and if they say the procedure needs to go ahead then do it, though try to avoid public transport in the rush hour.

I second- call them!

by ckn - 2020-04-28 15:34:24

I'm not in the UK but in a similarly affected country my pacemaker clinic is SLOW. They have cancelled pretty much any non-necessary appointment. When I had to go in I was the only one around. Definitely call them and ask to put your mind at ease!

has it switched

by dwelch - 2020-05-03 00:17:40

So if you take your pulse, is it at a fixed rate like 65 for example?  Can you climb a flight of stairs or exert yourself in any way?  The device has months at that mode, if it is not in that mode then you have time before the so many month timer starts.

They should be calling you, of course, but if not you should also be calling them.  If it is similar to here, then some hospitals are taking care of for example pregancies and no or minmal CV, and other hospitals are knee deep in CV patients.  CV or not they cant afford to let something happen to you, they will get this done, but you should keep reminding them.  There is talk where I live of elective surgeries to start back up,  yours is not elective it is necessary.  

Which is why I go back to the first question, they may be holding you off because, you may have many many months left and in that case it is wise to wait to reduce the CV risk.  But if you need it, it will get done.

The side effect (good, bad, or otherwise) of this satety mode where the pacer just locks you at an unchanging rate is that you eventually notice it and it motivates you to motivate them.

Many of us are beyond our first device, I am on number five at least two I know if went into this safety mode.  My first doc I only saw every 6 months around this time and had no phone box or whatever so the idea there was that we would catch it in a 6 month window...and did...Hmm, hey what are you doing next week? ... Getting a new pacemaker...

Like pregnancies this is something they cannot hold off, they have to just do.  And they will.  Be your own advocate, have them explain their decision, what state your pacer is in and the life expectancy of the battery plus how many months of margin.  I expect that you have a number of months left and they are not gambling with it at all, just choosing to not gamble as much with CV.

You know you're wired when...

You run like the bionic woman.

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