9 doctors weighed in:

What is the difference between a defibrillator and a pacemaker?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Liviu Klein
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Liviu Klein
Dr. Liviu Klein
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Dr. Joseph Roosth
Internal Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Charles Jost
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.
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