Would love a pacemaker for Christmas !

Hi,

I have been a member of the club for two years now after I received my Medtronic pacemaker for a cardiac arrest. I suffer with bradycardia and vasovagal syndrome and am very symptomatic ! Life for me was ticking along just fine with my pacemaker and to be honest I had forgotten it was there which was a great place to be in. However 6 th October I was operated on to remove my device and leads because i suffered a bad infection and sadly it was the cause. When it was removed my cardiologist discovered the infection was hidden under the device and had taken the two years to prove itself which is quite rare......I have spent numerous weeks in hospital  nearly two months, on strong antibiotics as the first three weeks worth of iv didn't eradicate it so was readmitted and continued with several IV's. My infection has hopefully gone now but They are now waiting to ensure it has before a new pacemaker can be implanted.  I have  an excellent cardiologist so am very lucky indeed. I am just living in limbo right now and have to be very careful indeed, I am hopeful that this can all be finally resolved soon once I get the go ahead it is safe to get a new device.

it has been a very very difficult time for me and the operation itself is taking a while to get over. Luckily I have always kept myself fit and went regularly to the gym and this helped me enormously . I just wondered if any other members have had their devices and leads removed because of infections at a late stage  . I am been positive and looking forward to getting a new implant so I can get life back on track.


4 Comments

Poor you.

by cardifflass - 2021-12-13 04:01:27

Hi,

not me, but when I was in hospital having my PM fitted, the lady in the next bed was in your situation.  She had been there for weeks.  She had had her PM removed and was being tested and proving positive for MRSA.  

They were waiting for her to be clear and then they were going to fit the new one on the other side.  

I hope you get things sorted quickly and that things go well.

Take care x

Thanks

by Camelgirl - 2021-12-13 23:32:53

Thankyou for taking the time out to reply, it is appreciated.

Hope you receive the Christmas present 💝 you so deserve

by Gemita - 2021-12-14 03:41:11

Camelgirl, you asked a very specific question “whether any other member has had their pacemaker system removed due to late infection” which is probably why no one has responded?  

I attach a few links below on the subject in case they are of interest to you or to other members.  It does appear that late infections (after more than one year) are relatively rare.  All we can do is to be aware of any continuing symptoms following a cardiac device implant, symptoms like fever, chills and generally feeling unwell would be a red flag for an infection.

As a matter of fact I was extensively investigated for pacemaker infection last year following a Covid infection in April which caused lasting symptoms of fever and chills.  Now I know this is likely due to long Covid, not pacemaker infection, but my EP was very concerned initially.  My pacemaker was implanted in 2018. 

An infection is more likely to be noticed earlier rather than later of course especially if it is related to a pocket infection where it can be readily seen, but if an infection starts internally it may go unnoticed for long periods when it may then become life threatening without timely intervention as you have unfortunately discovered.  Most infections start in one of two places: at the incision site or where the leads connect to your heart.

Internal infection can spread unnoticed, typically from various types of staph bacteria. A sticky film develops that makes clearing the infection impossible — even with antibiotics — unless the pacemaker and leads are completely removed.

I do wish you well and hope that you get the Christmas present you so deserve.

Cardifflass was interested to read about the MRSA patient in the bed next to you.  I hope she was quickly isolated from other patients?  When my husband needed an operation for an abscess due inflammatory bowel disease which had already caused two attacks of septicemia, he tested positive for MRSA.  His isolation procedures were unbelievably tough, not only for his protection but also for other patients in the hospital 

https://heart.bmj.com/content/80/3/240

https://www.heighpubs.org/jccm/jccm-aid1087.php

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-a-hidden-pacemaker-infection-making-you-sick/

 

Thankyou Gemita

by Camelgirl - 2021-12-14 07:32:17

Thankyou for all your comments and links which I will certainly follow up. You are so right in everything you have said. I hadn't had any symptoms at all of infection in the past until suddenly I noticed a redness appearing with like a red lump near the incision site which quickly progressed, luckily I was seen the next day by my cardiologist who started me on IV antibiotics and so it all progressed to the removal. Like I said this operation took me longer to get over than I ever thought  and the incision was larger too but this was because the infection had moved beyond the device . I am still been monitored closely and am due more investigations just after Christmas into the early new year but am so hoping I get the go ahead for the new pacemaker.

Thankyou again Gemita for your reply, it is very much appreciated. I will of course let you know what happens.

Thankyou to the pacemaker club for just been there when needing advice.

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Member Quotes

A properly implanted and adjusted pacemaker will not even be noticeable after you get over the surgery.