Is my mother’s life dependent upon the life of her pacemaker function?
My mother has a pacemaker acquired recently like 3 months ago. Apparently her doctor said that pacemaker has replaced the natural beating control, i.e., her heart is beating just by the pacemaker activity. That seems terrible, because it suggests that her lifespan depends on the life of the battery of her pacemaker. Is that true? Her life just depends on the battery activity? Has that happened before or described in scientific literature? Thanks in advance.
Submitted by Erwin from Iquique, Chile on 08/09/2014
Pacemakers are battery operated. Current technology allows for 7 to 10 years of battery life. That battery is followed during routine evaluations and it has something we call ERI or elective replacement indicator. Once it reaches that level, the pulse generator (the box under the skin) is easily replaced. Some people can go through three or more pacemakers (30 years). A PM pulse generator replacement takes 20 – 30 min and it is done usually as an outpatient procedure.