A 34-year-old member asked:
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what is the difference between a defibrillator and a pacemaker?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Joseph Roosth
34 years experience Internal Medicine
What they do: Some pacemakers include defibrillators and some do not. A "regular" pacemaker simply sets the heart rate or helps to control the rate at which the heart beats. An implated defibrillator, usually is also a pacemaker, but constantly monitors the heart for dangerous heart rate types and delivers an eclectric shock to try and return the irregular heart rate to normal.
Answered on Apr 25, 2015
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1 comment
Dr. Charles Jost
35 years experience Cardiology
Many modern devices have a remote monitoring(active or passive) capacity so that your cardiologist will be notified when a shock is delivered. Sometimes the settings have to be adjusted.
Nov 13, 2011
Dr. Liviu Klein
22 years experience Cardiology
Many differences: A pacemaker is used in the case of slow heart beats or blocked electrical conduction between upper and lower chambers (av block). A defibrillator will 'shock' (defibrillate) the heart in the case if abnormal life threatening fast heart beats (ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia). All defibrillators have a back-up pacemaker in them, but pacemakers cannot defibrillate the heart.
Answered on Nov 28, 2017

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