17% usage

Hi, i am 51 yr old relatively fit chap & have just had my 6 week check on my dual pacer/ICD gizmo! They told me all is good & working correctly which is great & I'm making good progress. 

They also told me that i am using the pacing element of it 17% of the time, mostly when asleep keeping heart rate at 60 bpm. My resting HR before op was 50-55 ish. 

So, my question is, is 17% use good, bad, irrelevant etc?

Thanks, Mark 



by AgentX86 - 2020-02-05 22:06:42

Your pacing percentage is whatever it is.  Some are very close to 0% and some are 100%, or even dependent (no pacemaker, no heartbeat), like me.  The only thing you need to know is that it's there when you need it.

In your case, if your EP set the minimum to 50bpm, your pacing percentage might go to zero.  If he set it to 80bpm, your pacing percentage may go to 100%.  As a single number, it's next to meaningless.

Agent is right

by Gotrhythm - 2020-02-06 14:24:47

The percent you are paced is a function of your settings. It has to be understoond in context. By itself it means little.


by CMH22567 - 2020-02-07 05:47:27

A beating heart is a good heart. If you are paced at 17% or 100% you will not be able to tell the difference. Enjoy. 


by thegingergeneral - 2020-02-07 07:36:02

thanks for the comments & advice all.

I am new to this stuff & the doctors don't tell you stuff unless you ask & its hard to know 'what' to ask then they blind you with science & stuff! I think its set to 60bpm (bottom end) but my heart naturally at resting or asleep is around 50bpm, they said 'yes its ok to leave it at 60' & as I had no idea it had been used or not I didn't know whether to challenge. I didn't know the pacer part was being used & as I feel fine so decided not too.....

I have HCM & an rregular beat & issues with the electrics, so am happy to let them do there job, so far so good!

HCM and Arrhythmias

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-07 08:30:30

Understand that a pacemaker does nothing for arrhythmias. All it can do is speed up the heart. As we say here, it's an accelerator,  not a brake. The ICD part of your implant is a brake but think of it as an emergency brake. You don't want to use it but it's there if your life is in danger.

HCM, by itself,  can cause all sorts of arrhythmias, so it's not surprising that you (still) have them.  A new pacemaker can cause them too until the heart gets used to  being paced. Don't forget that it's been assaulted and may act up for a while.

Doctors are reluctant to give patients all of the nitty details unless they know that you understand something about what's going on. The more you study your condition, the more information they'll give you. They're not going to speak doctorese to someone who hasn't a clue.  You don't have to become a doctor, just understand your particular condition. It's really a necessity to get the best care and really, an informed consent to any procedures.



by Keithwhelpley - 2020-02-07 15:55:19


My percentages have been different depending upon what settings I have. A lot of good advice provided already. But when you say "making progress" you shouldn't expect the pacemaker or ICD will make your condition better.

What makes your condition better is understanding everything about your diagnosis and the pacemaker settings. The more you can understand the more you can troubleshoot with your doctor. Also, be aware that when they tell you your pacemaker is operating "as it should," it says nothing about how your heart is operating with the pacemaker. When I suddenly went into repeated VTs -- one right after another for three or four times -- it was ME who researched and diagnosed the problem. The EPs didn't know what to do so prescribed the dangerous aniarrhythmic flecainide. My pacmaker/ICD seemed to be "operating as it should." So it was easy to assume my heart was the problem. It wasn't. It was a setting that had been turned on for a condition I didn't have. So the pacemaker WAS operating as it should. It just wasn't operating with the heart and was causing VTs. They flipped the rate response switch off and the VTs went away and I titrated off flecainide. 


can they program a night time rate?

by Pacemaker_Sally - 2020-02-08 15:06:16

Most newer pacemakers can be programmed for a night time 'sleeping' rate. I recently had mine set to a minimum of 50 BPM from 11pm to 6am daily. Otherwise the minium is 60 BPM.

I have found this small change has made quite a large difference in my ability to rest at night. I no longer wake up, feeling my heart ticking like a clock!


by Lady Lee - 2020-02-08 20:33:36

I think it will also save you battery life!  I should look into that.

Night time rate

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-09 13:49:45

Mine is set to 80bpm day and 50bpm from 12:00AM to 6:00AM. Well, that's the plan but the PM tech screwed up the change to standard time so I'm an hour fast.

For me, it's a pretty obvious change but doesn't happen all at once. It seems to change over a half hour or so.

You know you're wired when...

You can hear your heartbeat in your cell phone.

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