BPM has changed with my new pacemaker

Had my first pacemaker replaced a few months ago. It had always paced me at 60 BPM, rarely ever changing. I note my new pacemaker (same brand) paces me sometimes as high as 80 BPM, with the average around 70. Recently, I have had episodes of breathlessness and when I do the finger check for oxygen and BPM, oxygen is always good (between 98 and 99), but BPM is high 70's or more. Is this normal, given my previous pacer. My surgeon did tell me that I am now 100 percent dependent upon my pacer. 


What is your minimum heart rate set at ?

by Gemita - 2020-09-27 04:36:31

Hello St. Chas,

Do you know what your minimum heart rate is set at ?  It could be that this has been increased to say 70 bpm minimum with your new pacemaker, whereas your old pacemaker was set at 60 bpm.  This could be one explanation for your increase in heart rate.  Another could be heart rhythm disturbances causing breathlessness symptoms or problems with your blood pressure.

Clearly you are now 100 per cent dependent on your pacemaker so your requirements and heart condition may have changed.  I see you have a heart stent.  I would definitely let your cardiologist/EP know about any new symptoms you may be getting just to be on the safe side.  They can run blood tests to rule out other causes of breathlessness, including anaemia.  Additionally, you could ask your pacemaker clinic if your pacemaker settings have been changed and which ones?  Whether there have been any changes in your medication?  However, any heart rate up to 100 bpm could be regarded as normal for most of us, although a rate above 100 bpm would be classified as tachycardia, so this could be significant.  

I believe you have a dual chamber pacemaker?  Sometimes with heavy right ventricular pacing we can develop troublesome symptoms like breathlessness caused by a dysynchrony between the upper (right atrium) and lower (right ventricle) chambers.  Some may even need an upgrade of their pacemaker system to try to correct this problem, so it is important that you ask lots of questions and let your doctors know what symptoms you are getting.  Hopefully though this is just your heart settling down and adjusting to any new settings.  Good luck and please let us know how you get on

Pacing rate

by AgentX86 - 2020-09-28 13:22:18

It sounds like Persephone has a likely reason for your change.  Perhaps rate response is set too "responsive".  As noted, a lot of us like it, at least a little, on the side of being touchy.  This reduces the lag between exercise and needed oxygen to the muscles. The side effect is to have rate that's a little touchy.  Perhaps you can have this turned back a little but these settings are completely personal.  Unless there is some odd reason that you shouldn't exercise, these settings should be chaged to your personal preference.  It might take a while to them all balanced out but you should be in control.

Of course we could be all wet and there's something else going.  From your description and that you're dependent, it sounds like a rate response setting problem.

Experienced pacemaker representative and PM patient

by Carlypollina - 2020-09-29 01:19:49

My name is Carly and I am 25 years old. I got my first pacemaker implanted when I was 13yrs old.  I also worked for St. Jude as a sales rep / technician for the device industry.

This can happen due to programming. During surgery the device representative (MDT, SJM, whichever company you have) programs the new device. The device representative SHOULD program ALL the same exact settings as the last device unless the doctor has a reason for making changes to the programming.

It sounds like you previously did not have rate response turned on possibly and now it is turned on. 

If I were you I would ask the representative to get the information from the clinic staff of your previous device settings if you enjoyed how your last device made you feel better.


they should have the old settings on file then I would ask the rep to copy those exact settings if you want to feel the same as before.


what you are describing though is completely normal though. It's more of just a preference of how you liked feeling better. 

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