Pacemaker Settings

A week ago at my first checkup, Medtronic changed my upper pm limit to 140 and turned the rate response setting to on. When I brushed my teeth and washed my face this morning I was totally breathless ! Called Dr. who said that Medtronic was coming today so I went in. The "delay" setting has been changed from factory setting of 200ms to 150ms - their feeling is that atria is signaling before ventricles have a chance to empty so that blood may be backing up causing my feeling of having my heart in my throat. Make sense to you?

Also apologize - tried to use the chat room and messed up. What is the upper limit for characters in a chat room message?


Another thought

by ElectricFrank - 2009-01-15 01:01:27

It may be an effect of an improperly adjusted rate response. Brushing your teeth wiggles the pacemaker and it thinks you are active so it increases your HR. It could easily hit the upper limit of 140 and start skipping beats.

I had a similar situation very early in my pacemaker career. If I sat in my hot tub with the jets on my back my HR would quickly jump up to the upper limit which was set to 120. Then it started skipping beats like an engine with bad spark plugs. In my case the solution was to both increase the upper limit and turn off rate response because I didn't need it.

If it is still happening try this experiment. Relax in a recliner until your HR settles down to its resting level. Now use your thumb and index finger to to gently, but quickly wiggle the pacemaker. Pay attention to your HR and if you feel the breath problem. If so you may have an oversensitive rate response setting.

I notice from your profile that you are a software engineer. If you log onto the Medtronics site you can access the programming manual for your pacer. It has been quite a while for me and I can't remember exactly how to get to it. There is an area where a doctor can order the manual, but I found another place where I could look at it on line as I remember. I poked around a bit and was able to print it out.


Thanks :-)

by ppt - 2009-01-15 10:01:27

I have the manuals. I think it was you who told me about them earlier. I downloaded them without a hitch - have yet to print them but will in the next day or so. Thanks also for the suggested experiment. Will do. Medtronic also said that the data indicated I had not used the rate responsive functionality . Plan to pull a lot of weeds today to see what happens :-) Will keep you posted. Again thanks ! Seems as if getting the settings right for an inidividual might take some trial and error - and time.

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