Pacemaker check

I had a guidant pacemaker put in place in 2001 and it lasted until january of 2007. Now it has run out of batteries and had to have another one put in this year in January. I went to my pacemaker check at a local pacemaker clinic and the technologist told me that my pacemaker was already over 20 percent used. Is this bad and what can be done about it. I have been extremely tired lately and short of breath. I already had two electrical heart attacks and 2 major strokes.


Battery Life

by peter - 2007-08-24 05:08:38

I dont agree that a pacemaker is using any significant power when it leaves the manufacturer. They are put in sleep mode which consumes almost no power. So if a battery is 20% depleted after only a few months there maybe cause for some concern.

Battery Life

by SMITTY - 2007-08-24 05:08:58

Peter, This is what I had to say about this, "Since there are no on/off switches on a PM, the electronics of the PM starts to consume battery power right then. So, some of the battery power, albeit a small amount, has been consumed when you get the PM."

I'll add now, when we are talking about a battery as small as the one in a pacemaker, which we want to last 6 to 10 years, any of its power that has been used before it is implanted is important.

Hang in there!

by MJH - 2007-08-24 08:08:17

And I thought I had problems! You must be tired out just from having had 7 kids! Quite an accomplishment! I have 3 and my 18-yr.-old daughter is on her second pacer for complete heart block.

Wouldn't you think if they can put a man on the moon that someone could come up with a longer-lasting pacemaker?! I don't have answers for you, but it is really discouraging, especially when I think about my daughter and her, hopefully, 65-70 years ahead of her.

What's an electrical heart attack? Take care and keep us posted...... Mary Jane

Battery Life

by SMITTY - 2007-08-24 11:08:35


I am going to assume what the technician said about the battery being 20% used is based on the battery having only 80% remaining of its original 100% power. If the battery has actually been depleted 20% since it was implanted, that says the life expectancy of your pacemaker battery is 40 months, or about 3.5 years. However I doubt that 20% of the battery life has been consumed in just eight months.

The battery may have only 80% of its initial power remaining, however, that does not necessarily mean the 20% depleted battery life power has occurred since your pacemaker was implanted. When a pacemaker is manufactured, the battery is installed and the case of the PM sealed. Since there are no on/off switches on a PM, the electronics of the PM starts to consume battery power right then. So, some of the battery power, albeit a small amount, has been consumed when you get the PM.

The following are at least three things of which I can think of right now that determine battery life:

(A) – The amount of time the PM must assist our heart beat. Some of us get by with the PM helping only a few percent of the time and some require the help of the PM 100% of the time.

(B) – The voltage required for the PM to assist your heart. In my case my PM is set for 2.0 volts to the atrium and 2.5 volts to the ventricle. From what I have read, these are about the lowest setting we can expect, but some people require four or five volts. The higher the voltage setting the more battery power consumed.

(C) – The resistance of the leads. The higher the resistance the more voltage required to get the voltage necessary to your heart to make it beat.

I’m sure there lots more things that determine battery life, but as I said, I can think of these three right now. Also, I know of nothing you can do to have an impact on these three items. You might want to discuss them with the technician and see what if anything can be done to extend the battery life as most pacemaker batteries are expected to last six to 10 years.

Wishing you the best,


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