Battery duration

I had a check back in April when my cardio said I have minimum 6 months and max 18 months in my battery. This is a medtronics PM 100% paced.

In October he said I had min 6 months and max 11 months which did not make sense to me so I checked with a different hospital and cardiologist. The second cardio told me min 12 months and max 18 months. He also said the PM would buzz when battery getting low. I am trying to figure out the 'true' story and will visit my cardio again on 12 December.

Has anybody else faced this situation?



Miles to empty

by AgentX86 - 2022-12-05 13:42:39

The fact is that they don't have a clue. Until its ERI ( Elective Replacement Indicator) is active, the time left is only a guess. Even that just narrows it down to within a few months. Many won't replace it until EOL indication, signaling threeish month left.

6 moss

by PacedNRunning - 2022-12-06 05:19:00

The estimates can change from one check to another. They should be within range. Sounds like they are. They shouldn't let it go to ERI if you are 100% paced. I was told mine would be replaced way before ERI since I'm 100% paced and rely on it. 

that last 6 months

by Tracey_E - 2022-12-06 09:41:46

Technically it has about 6 months at the end that we don't use, so they may or may not include that in their estimate. 6-18 months left means replacement in 6-12 months.  Do you drive your car until it runs out of gas on the side of the road? Just because it says 50 miles doesn't mean  you are going to wait 49 miles to fill up (probably lol).

When it gets to elective replacement mode, this is when most of us have it replaced. That lasts about 3 months and it's still fully functional. Think of it as the gas light in your car. 

At the end of elective replacement mode, it goes into end of service which also lasts about 3 months. At this point it will have limited function. It will keep us safe but if we pace every beat, it won't feel good because it will no longer go up and down as needed, it will stay at 60bpm. Some insurance requires it to get to this point but most do not. 

After that it shuts down. They never let us get close to that, they always have a cushion.  

Battery to EOL

by Big Fred - 2022-12-06 09:47:10

Dear All,

Thank you so much for the helpful comments. It is reassuring to know that we are not alone.

I now have ammunition for my next appointment on 12 December :))



by Tracey_E - 2022-12-06 10:00:57

When I get under a year, they switch from quarterly to monthly checks. I'm on my 5th, so been around this block a time or two. It's only stressful the first time! You can always trust that they will keep us safe. 

Something to ask at your next appointment?

by LondonAndy - 2022-12-06 14:05:35

Hi Big Fred

If you are worried about your pacemaker "going flat", you might want to do what I did at a check-up and ask how would I know if my device went into End of Life mode - the stage that lasts a few months before it finally gives up. The technician kindly set my pacemaker into that mode and told me to gently walk down the hospital corridor to see. The only thing I felt was as if my heart was noticably heavier. (He then set it back to normal mode).

Incidentally, I am 100% paced too, and assumed this meant that if the pacemaker stopped so did I. However, in October I had my first replacement device, as it was 8 years old. It turns out it is quite rare to be truly 100% dependent - and sure enough my heart carried on once they turned the device off, at about 30 BPM. 

And I never did experience the EOL mode! They changed the device before it got that low.

depends on doc/insurance

by dwelch - 2022-12-29 13:39:34

well first off the estimate is bad in general, brand new I would expect if you ran it over and over again you would see years worth of difference.  As it gets down to months it would get more accurate but again measure more than once and I would not expect the exact same answer.  Expanding on the miles estimate on your car, that is based on what?  They remember how hard you press the pedal?  based on some short or long term mileage average?  assuming the senser is even that accurate?

Tracey also mentioned increased checks.  From my title in the comment, that varies by doc/insurance.  My first two way back when were annual checks, maybe 6 month near the end.  Then moved towns, switched docs and then it was maybe one a year making the testing every 6 months, I think even at the end.  Then swiched again and switched again. eventually one doc said they paid for the checks and at the end it was monthly.  then got a device that should have been supported by the modern monitor, but wasnt but I had already returned the phone box.  will see what they do with my current device and with a phone box as it gets closer to the end.

Another factor is that insurnace is now encouraging or forcing doctors to wait for the device to switch rather than elective replacement happening early.  So you may have to wait for the device to go into the safety mode as I call it.  This still has months of life left.  But your rate will be fixed and you may/should feel it.  Out of breath climing stairs, etc.  Just check your pulse and see if it is stuck at like 65 no matter what you are doing.

So short story.  The measurement is not accurate and not expected to be consistent.   Ideally you want a doc/insurance that tests more often near the end.  Expect, now or in the future, to have the device to switch to the safety mode with a fixed rate and depending on the device it may make a noise.  I have had 2 or 3 go into this mode before replacement for various reasons.  You have months to get it replaced, but it does create some anxiety and that is normal.  You will be a pro at this before long.



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I'm 35 and got my pacemaker a little over a year ago. It definitely is not a burden to me. In fact, I have more energy (which my husband enjoys), can do more things with my kids and have weight because of having the energy.