Battery Draining

Hi, my partner had a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted in December 2020. He went for his second check up today and was told that his heart is working harder, so much so, its draining the battery. Where a normal battery would last around 10 years, his is showing that it only has 5-6 years left. They made some adjustments and want to see him again in a month but said it is likely that they will have to operate again. I can't find anything on line about these symptoms and wondered if anyone else has experienced similar? 


1 Comments

Rapid battery drain has several causes

by crustyg - 2021-05-11 03:38:26

For a simple PM, a battery life of 5-8years is very normal (longer life versions have much bigger batteries and can make 12-15years).  ICDs (if they fire off) drain the battery much faster.  They are larger than a PM, but that's because of the big capacitor for the ICD function, not a bigger battery.

Problems with very rapid battery drain (e.g. 1-2years before exhaustion) are usually due to damaged lead(s), defective battery (there have been PM recalls for this), or failing connection at the lead tip where it activates the heart muscle.

Each pacing impulse has a particular voltage *AND* a pulse-duration.  Making the pulse duration longer is much the more important as it drains the battery of charge: requiring a high voltage *and* long pulse duration can really get through a battery but not usually in 1-2years, unless the lead=>heart connection is poor/failing.  That would require a lead revision.  Having a more rapid pulse is actually not much of a cause of reduced battery life, as only patients in trouble have a pulse of 120BPM+ for 24h per day.

Typical (==ideal) pacing voltage is 2.0-2.5V and pulse width 400microseconds (i.e. 0.4ms) - a very short pulse-width.  If you have your partner's settings you can assess how different they are to ideal.

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