Battery depletion

My st jude/ Abbott pm., is part of the recall. 
implanted April of 2019.

I called to check on my last interrogation this month, I'm on Merlin. They said all looks good.  In passing I asked if my battery life is still 9 years as it was back in March. I was told it's 6?years now!   First I was not happy I wasn't notified by my Drs office, second obviously it should not drop 3 years in 3 months.  I'll be notified if it gets to EOL. That's rediculous, something is not right.

I'll call tomorrow to speak to a Dr., not the technician. My next appointment is supposed to be in August. 
Don't you guys think with a severe drop in battery life should prompt a call?

thanks  Finn



by AgentX86 - 2022-07-16 01:38:52

It's impossible to direcly measure the state of a litium battery when it's in its mid-cycle.  The voltage change is immeasureable (varies more from unit to unit than the change in one unit over time) during this part of the curve.  When it gets close to the end it's not a problem.  The voltage drops off pretty quickly (relatively) near the end.  So, the accuracy gets better where it counts.

I'd ask but you're unlikely to get a good answer.

Fluctuations in remaining battery life

by Gemita - 2022-07-16 08:02:56

Finn, something similar happened to me and now my remaining battery life has jumped back up.  Estimation of remaining battery life is just that, an "estimation".  Battery life remaining doesn't seem to mean very much until the battery nears its end of productive life, when we may start to notice symptoms as well, similar to what we might have had at the time of our device implant.

Do by all means query this discrepancy for peace of mind and to make sure that nothing important has been missed, but I suspect like AgentX86 that your doctors won't be too concerned.  Anyway 6 years is a decent time remaining.

Like you this is all a learning curve for me too.  I am on my first device (implanted 2018) and battery life seems to fluctuate from 4-6 or more years remaining, so I am more relaxed about this now.

Finn, although my above comments are still valid, I have just read about the recall on your particular pacemaker model for early battery drain.  In view of this I would follow up with your doctors and make sure that you are being closely monitored for any changes in pacing due to a failing battery.  As long as you are closely monitored you should stay safe.  I attach a Pacemaker Club link for other members who might be potentially affected by the recall also.  Hopefully it will give some reassurance.  The link should be copied and pasted into your general browser to open it:-

Abbott PM

by Stache - 2022-07-16 19:24:26

I have a St Jude/Abbott PM dual chamber pacing 100% of the time and I am an avid bicycle rider that makes the pacer beat faster.  I haven’t noticed much difference with my battery life as I tracked it with the Abbott App just because I want to know for my own security.  My pacer was not part of the recall I checked.  If your pacer is blue tooth like mine you can install the Abbott app and monitor it 24/7.  Recently I turned the app off as it provides too much information but still use my home monitor every night.


by Tracey_E - 2022-07-18 18:51:10

I wouldn't consider that a severe drop. I'm on my 5th so have been through this a time or two (or 5). Expected life is based on settings at the time of the estimate, and they are not very accurate until the end, so fluctuations, even big ones, are normal. Sometimes it's the opposite, my current one has said 8-10 years for 4 years now. 

Were your settings changed in March? If yes, then that will immediately affect projected life because it will recalculate based on any changes made to the settings. 

If your battery fails due to the recall, it will go down a lot faster than 3 years in 3 months. Mine is part of the recall also and my doctor also didn't say anything about it until I asked. Once they explained their reasoning- if I was affected, we'd know by now- I agreed there was no reason to tell me anything. Why cause needless worry? The number affected was very very small and if it hasn't depleted by now, it's unlikely to happen. 


by AgentX86 - 2022-07-18 19:07:21

Mine is under recall, too. The recall instructions say, even though the probability of failure is higher just after implant, that it could happen at any time.  Care providers are instructed to keep close tabs on the remaining battery life, make sure remote monitoring is used and measures battery level. The recall notice also says, that for dependent patients, ERI is to be treated as an emergency.

Tracy’s comment

by Finn - 2022-07-25 17:29:49

Yes Tracy, 

settings had been changed back in September, they changed the rate response  to kick in sooner.


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