Extend Battery Life

Perhaps a foolish question but...is there anything someone can do to extend the battery life of their pacer? (More exercise? Lose weight? etc) Or is your heart just going to do what it is going to do? I've had my current pacer for 6 years. The reason I have it is total heart block.

Thanks.


4 Comments

Extend battery life

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-14 16:03:32

No, there is nothing that can be done (or it would be). Your pacemaker is doing its job and keeping you alive. That's pretty good in my book.

Extending Battery Life

by Marybird - 2022-09-14 17:58:59

I'm not sure how much this would extend a pacemaker's battery life in the long run, but last week when I had my annual in-office device check, the technician turned the pacing voltage of my pacemaker down- I think it was from 2.5 volts down to 2.0, as they've seen in the three years I've had the pacemaker my heart responds to much less than 2.0 volts for pacing. I guess that extended the life, according to the report about 8 months. 

When I had my after-implant check with the EP at 6 weeks out, he changed my lower pacing limit at 55 BPM from the default 60. He said this was to prevent unnecessary pacing up to 60 when I was sleeping. He said this would save some battery life, although he also turned on the rate response ( which I am eternally grateful for) and the increase in demand pacing with that probably uses a tad more battery, so I'd guess that was a wash.

There may be other functions that use more or less battery, but if they're needed, you don't want those turned off, as improving a person's cardiac function is the essential and most important function of the pacemaker. I'd say worrying about getting a few more months battery life out of a pacemaker trails way behind its benefits to the user. 

extending life

by Tracey_E - 2022-09-15 09:33:56

There are some tweaks your pacer tech may be able to do to extend battery life. May. Most of them do it automatically because they want to see us get max battery life.

It seems like battery life should be determined by how much we pace but it really doesn't work like that. The extra features we use, like rate response, affect battery life. The position of our leads, the condition of the leads, the heart itself all affect how much power it takes to make the heart beat, which affects battery life. And a dozen other factors, only one of which is how much we pace. 

Exercising and losing weight will extend YOUR life, just sayin. You can do that whether it'll affect the battery life or not. 

possibly

by dwelch - 2022-09-20 08:16:47

So the doc should already be guiding the techs to adjust the settings on the device to extend battery life.  Dont crank it up for no reason, but naturally do not set the settings so low that it does not work.  The devices today do a lot of this themselves, my first device it took a good part of the first year to find settings that didnt cause double beats and then also did cause the beats when needed.

Now...

Complete heart block, you are 100% paced like me and Tracey_E and others.  So assume every heart beat the pacer has to deliver voltage and current to the ventricals.  if your heart rate is 100 because of physical health, that is some level of consumption, but if your heart rate is 70 most of the time.  You are saving that 30 percent give or take, energy consumption from that battery.  And that savings should be reflected in the life of the battery.  Just like if you let your phone sit with the display off and no apps playing music or actively doing wifi or bluetooth things, vs display on, music going, streaming from the internet and bluetooth to your headset.  Battery consuption can easily be seen.

Same goes for your atrial lead, techincally, IMO, but if your lower limit is 60 and your resting rate is below that then it is what it is.  if your upper is 125 and for some reason you spend a lot of time banging on that limit then, yeah, get in shape, and get that lower.  I would not worry about a low rate though and the atrial being on for that reason at that rate.

Techincally the take home box radio does consume battery as well.  How does it compare to the beat for beat consumption from the ventrical lead(s).  I dont know I dont have a way to know, but it is not free.   Not recommending you turn off the box, but it is non-zero consumption.

Short answer, if you can keep your rate lower, then the demand on the battery is lower beat for beat and that should extend the life of the battery.  But do not trade your life on it, do not stop eating and over-exercising to try to save months or a year of battery life.  If you happen to be more fit, then great, if you dont, then so what the battery life is the battery ilfe.

Another factor here is that not all batteries are equal, not all devices are equal, take many devices of the same brand, model, made the same day, etc, and put them under the same load and varaitions in each device over a 10 year period are expected to be I would assume months of difference, so if you happen to have draw the short straw and have a 8 year device instead of a 9 year device or 10 year device, are you going to make a difference?

Being healthier is good in general, and healthier should give you a we bitty bit less battery consumption.  But overall, it is going to last as long as it is going to last, and replacements are relatively easy.  I have had four replacements.

 

 

 

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I've seen many posts about people being concerned about exercise after having a device so thought I would let you know that yesterday I raced my first marathon since having my pacemaker fitted in fall 2004.