Pacemaker Time Stamp

 Just wanted to leave a message to let everyone know about an odd occurrence with my Medtronic Adapta, hopefully it doesn't happen to anyone else.

Quick info about me, 46 years old, avid cyclist and snowboarder, have had a pacemaker for bradycardia since 2011.

I went in last October for my annual check up and had a number of high rate episodes at weird times of the night, some of them lasted for 45 minutes at around 175-180 bpm. My cardiologist scheduled an echo to be done, after seeing the results had me see a pulmonary specialist. This "specialist" told me I had pulmonary hypertension and a week later I recieved a phone call from his office telling me I would be put on the drug adempas, which just happens to run $10k a month.

As you can imagine I was pretty shaken up by this and called my cardiologist, who was also surprised since we had not done a right heart cath yet to double check. He scheduled me for the right heart cath and it came back that I did not have pulmonray hypertension, but he thought the left side of my heart looked enlarged. So he scheduled a transesophageal echocardiogram, which if you haven't had one be very happy, it isn't fun. The results came back that my heart had not changed.

Two weeks later I was back at the cardiologist and he wants me to think about taking another drug (currently only taking Metoprolol & aspirin). After meeting with him I saw the Medtronic person so they could check my pacemaker. Again it came up with a number of HRE at weird times. Since the check up in October I had started wearing a Fitbit to monitor my HR during the night, and I knew I had not had any epsisodes. After going back and forth with the person for a few minutes I asked if it's possible the time was off on my pacemaker, they tried to look this up and amazingly didn't know how. They called their supervisor to figure out how to check the time & we found out that it was actually 7 HOURS FAST & every one of the HRE were when I was cycling.  

Hope nobody else has to go through this, please let me know if you have any questions.




Delayed pulse

by Skeet - 2019-02-27 16:32:27

I have experienced exactly what you have. Whenever I do a organized ride or hard training ride I seem to have a delayed "episode", tech assuming  it was afib, but not really saying that. Whenever pulse is up there for an hour or two they assum the worst. That is very interesting that you discovered your time stamp was off.  I'll bet other people have experienced the same.


oh wow!

by Tracey_E - 2019-02-27 19:11:13

I'm so sorry you had to go through so many tests to find out your heart gets fast when you work out. How crazy that no one figured it out sooner. Thanks for the info. 

Time warp

by AgentX86 - 2019-02-27 22:13:36

It didn't take me long to figure out that Medrtonic isn't bright enough to understand DST but at least mine is in the right time zone.  ;-)  Isn't this a setting that your device tech can fix?


by CYBORG - 2019-02-28 13:39:54

Thank God you figured it out unfortunately you have to be your own advocate in the medical system so disappointed for you that the medical field didn’t have the intelligence to figure this out for you sooner


by zawodniak2 - 2019-02-28 14:34:46

Just a comment about wearing the Fitbit at night.  I do this and it is very reassuring to see how well my Medtronic keeps my heart rate steady and constant at  60 bpm except for pee breaks.  The Fitbit will come in extra handy when my current pacemaker starts to go into EOL or ERI due to a weakened battery or other issues.  When I was ready for my last pacemaker replacement I monitored my pulse with a finger oxi/pulse meter and it locked in at 65 BPM, but now with the Fitbit, I can see my total history on my iPhone. Personally, I recommend a Fitbit for all pacemaker recipients.

As a side note, I read yesterday that the new Apple watches will offer heart rate and sleep tracking.



by AgentX86 - 2019-02-28 15:55:23

I've been using FitBits since my CABG surgery 4+ years ago. I could tell, within 15 minutes, when I slipped into Aflutter because I had the rate monitor. Since I got the PM (a year ago), it's a lot more boring. ;-)

BTW, depending on the model, apparently, FitBits will monitor sleep cycles, though I don't believe them, particularly for those of us with a pacemaker. I don't believe Apple, either.

Pacemaker time

by gwandolowski - 2019-03-01 01:57:39

Too bad pacemakers do not have atomic time auto settings.

Atomic time

by AgentX86 - 2019-03-01 11:31:43

Please don't load pacemakers up with such frivolous stuff. Precise time isn't needed  and this would open a security hole that would be costly to plug. Use those resources to improve primary function and safety. Creeping featureitis has no place in devices where life depends on their proper operation.

The problem here is that the human element failed. That's where to look for solutions, though a check of the pacemaker tima against the programmers time each time its queried, would have found the error.

Time off as well

by ZeldaMSW - 2019-03-03 10:17:25

When my defibrillator fired recently the tech reading the interrogation print out asked where I was driving that time of day -  Uh - home from work?  -  She wondered where I worked that I was driving home at 4:00 am. -  Yeah - no.  It was actually 7pm.  Go figure.  She just shook her head.

3 weeks since PM implant.

by ChristopherTodd - 2019-03-03 17:10:16

I'm scared, anxious and depressed since getting this. I had to get lead repositioned aft 2 weeks plus my heart swelled after 1st surgery so it's been an ordeal. I just cant believe the time screw up you went through. I just want to feel better. I have energy and could breathe again. Just depressed. Thank God for this forum.

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