Low heart rate alert

Hi all,

I had my biventricular pacemaker fitted 6 weeks ago now for complete heart block & bradycardia. Healing has been going well apart from some pain in my shoulder. I wear an Apple Watch which has built in heart rate monitor this sent me 3 alerts throughout last night to tell me my heart rate had dropped below 40 & stayed like that for 10 minutes each time.

Is it normal for heart rate to drop low with the pacemaker fitted?

Thank You 


Not Normal

by Swangirl - 2019-05-12 12:48:46

I would fault the Apple Watch.  It doesn't seem likely that your PM isn't working to keep your heartrate at the pace set by your cardiologist.  When you go in for your interrogation they can determine if what you are describing did indeed happen.  


by Tracey_E - 2019-05-12 16:05:50

I have alerts tutned off on my watch. Electronics are too easily fooled by pacers to be dependable on things like that. If you have a home monitor, send a download. If it did, indeed, drop too low, it will show up on there. The only reason it would go under your minimum is if a lead moved and isn't pacing. It's much more likely it's the watch!

Don't worry.

by AgentX86 - 2019-05-12 16:37:25

Don't believe any watch, particularly if you have no way to verify the numbers. These monitors just aren't reliable. I get all sorts of crazy numbers. When I notice it, I just move the watch and the numbers return to normal. It's the nature of the technology behind their pulse measurement. If you're concerned,  send in a remote interrogation withe the time you're concerned about and they'll be able to put your mind at ease.


by Shana - 2019-05-19 01:55:22


I agree that the Apple Watch is not perfect. While doing additional testing (wireless interrogation as I ran stairs), we could see that my Series 4 Watch had some lag time. 20 bpm behind what  the interrogation was showing. 

With that said, on March 10th, my watch consistently communicated my HR was under 50 bpm all morning. I listened to the watch, went to urgent care, and was transported to the nearest hospital within minutes for complete block. The watch likely saved my life that day. 

As such, I’d vote to transmit just to be safe and for peace of mind.





Your heart make be weak and slowing down

by James Allan - 2019-05-27 03:35:32

Hi Tanz2310

My cardiologist told me that when your heart rate drops your pacemaker will start doing its work in "10 Seconds". When I first started seeing a cardiologist I did ask him these questions. Yes, your watch may be out of tune but it also may be correct. I get eposodes of heart rate drops frequently and within 10 seconds the pacemaker fires and brings me back to normal. It's scary. My pacemaker tester every three months tested my secondary difibulator function and it felt like my heart stopped and them restarted. When the 3rd fucntion of defibulation happens my cardiologist stated it will feel like your getting hit in the chest with a baseball bat. 

If you have a weak heart and experiance some "premonitory symtoms" of heart failure you can expect you pacemaker to due its job now and again. I was good in the beginning but now my heart slows down regularly and my pacemaker has to do its job.

You know you're wired when...

Jerry & The Pacemakers is your favorite band.

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