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Pacemaker Monitor?
Old 11-21-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
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Pacemaker Monitor?

I had some heart work done and they had to also install a pacemaker. I was sent a pacemaker monitor to hook up beside my bed. I am suppose to download it every 3 months. I did the download and got a call from the Doctor PA that installed my pacemaker to say every thing looked OK and battery shows it will last 10 years.

I also just got a bill for over $500 from them. Insurance covered most of it but do i really need this monitor? Its not like they can change thing with it but can tell how long the battery is going to last.

Thanks
Bruno
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:56 AM   #2
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I have the same thing only with the addition of a defibrillator. I asked the same question. Do I really need this? My guess is having the automatic data downloads throughout the year cuts down on your office visits or potential office visits. A couple of those and that adds up to about $500 clams. Plus, it can pick up and flag more subtle irregularities that might require intervention.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:01 PM   #3
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I'm 48 and just got my 2nd pacemaker on Thursday. I've been around this block. You can either:
1. Pay for data downloads done in a timely manner. And the data is very useful for adjusting the pacemaker.
2. Pay for much less convenient office visits. Where they will download the same data in a less timely manner. And, if the data shows anything, may need ANOTHER office visit to decide treatment.

They may not have mentioned this: Towards end of battery they will need to check you more frequently. Dying batteries get unpredictable.

As you can prolly tell: I'll take the convenient remote monitor over the time spent on office visits any time!

Pick your poison. You're paying either way.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:06 PM   #4
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Do a little research. Your monitor is also an early warning system for heartbeat issue. Your pacer will have data sets unique to you for heartbeat irregularity. If you exceed certain limits your device with send an alert to your heart clinic.

The quarterly check is much more then a battery check, it also transmits a record of your heartbeats for the last 3 months.

So to answer your question yes you do need the monitor.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Keim View Post
I'm 48 and just got my 2nd pacemaker on Thursday. I've been around this block. You can either:
1. Pay for data downloads done in a timely manner. And the data is very useful for adjusting the pacemaker.
2. Pay for much less convenient office visits. Where they will download the same data in a less timely manner. And, if the data shows anything, may need ANOTHER office visit to decide treatment.

They may not have mentioned this: Towards end of battery they will need to check you more frequently. Dying batteries get unpredictable.

As you can prolly tell: I'll take the convenient remote monitor over the time spent on office visits any time!

Pick your poison. You're paying either way.
Well number one and number two are not equal IMO..your monitor is an early warning system directly wired in to your doctors office.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:21 PM   #6
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The monitor is much more than a battery check. Mine calls home every night and reports. Some months ago it reported an Afib incident which my cardiologist is now aware of and keeping an eye on.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:40 PM   #7
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They did also tell me i was having some afib issues and recommend a Cardioversion procedure which my cardiologist had already discussed with me. I had my local cardo doctor do. I didn't have any immediate gains but maybe it will help in the long run.

PS I also bought a Kardia mobile to try but returned it when i found out they don't work that good with a pacemaker.

Thanks for your input..
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:51 PM   #8
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That depends on the type of monitor you have. My former monitor was not an early warning device. New one doesn't indicate which it is...
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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Well number one and number two are not equal IMO..your monitor is an early warning system directly wired in to your doctors office.

That depends on the type of monitor you have. My former monitor was not an early warning device. New one doesn't indicate which it is...
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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That depends on the type of monitor you have. My former monitor was not an early warning device. New one doesn't indicate which it is...
If you connect wirelessly from home, pretty sure it's talking to your docs office when necessary.
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:49 PM   #11
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After Vfib dropped me I got an AICD implant. Several cardioversions, Afib, and about 8 years later I got a replacement unit. My understanding is that my implant is to act as a defib unit primarily and to aid in pacing. Every 3 months or so my home sending unit sends a report to the medicos and they can call to enquire how I'm feeling. Don't think anyone is monitoring me on a daily or weekly basis. If I feel .. odd.. I can send a transmission to them for review. I like having the unit in the bedroom as an easy way to allay any personal fears I might have. Works really well when we shift locations by 1100 miles when snowbirding.

Edit: BTW - when your battery is getting low it will give an audible alert, which is really fun. Think European ambulance noises coming from your chest for about 10 seconds! Very strange.
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:13 PM   #12
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After Vfib dropped me I got an AICD implant. Several cardioversions, Afib, and about 8 years later I got a replacement unit. My understanding is that my implant is to act as a defib unit primarily and to aid in pacing. Every 3 months or so my home sending unit sends a report to the medicos and they can call to enquire how I'm feeling. Don't think anyone is monitoring me on a daily or weekly basis. If I feel .. odd.. I can send a transmission to them for review. I like having the unit in the bedroom as an easy way to allay any personal fears I might have. Works really well when we shift locations by 1100 miles when snowbirding.

Edit: BTW - when your battery is getting low it will give an audible alert, which is really fun. Think European ambulance noises coming from your chest for about 10 seconds! Very strange.
Long story short DH has a defib unit. During his heart surgery his unit was "turned off". It was turned on afterward but of course the monitor was at our home. Due to some medications issues and such it actually fired one night in the ICU..which quickly brought him back to normal.

We got discharged and after his first night sleeping at home we got a call from the docs office, saying we are getting an emergency alert for the defib unit from your remote unit. We checked your records and it's from your hospital visit, but we screwed up and forgot to manually reset your device in person before you left the hospital. It will continue to alert us until we see you in person and clear the warning. They ended up sending a tech to our local clinic to reset it. And the ambo noise is what you hear every day until the reset happens. Luckily we didn't panic since we knew the cause. It was sounding once a day in the morning.

So the units most certainly do talk to each other over wifi when needed.
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:46 PM   #13
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A
Edit: BTW - when your battery is getting low it will give an audible alert, which is really fun. Think European ambulance noises coming from your chest for about 10 seconds! Very strange.
Holy crap. If you didnt already have a heart prob, that sound coming from your chest would probably give you one. Oh my
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki - when your battery is getting low it will give an audible alert, which is really fun. Think European ambulance noises coming from your chest for about 10 seconds! Very strange.
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Holy crap. If you didnt already have a heart prob, that sound coming from your chest would probably give you one. Oh my
I was aware of the audible alert but didn't know it sounded like a European ambulance. yes. I think that would cause a heart attack in an unsuspecting patient and possibly whoever is standing nearby.
My battery was tested 3 weeks ago as having 9 1/2 years left. I can hardly wait!
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:00 PM   #15
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If you connect wirelessly from home, pretty sure it's talking to your docs office when necessary.
Having just got a new one, instructions were handy. I'm risking my man card saying this:. I read them.

The unit can be set for early warnings. Or not. Depends on how the Dr programs it. Even appears the Doc can select which warnings to alert on.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:20 PM   #16
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Having just got a new one, instructions were handy. I'm risking my man card saying this:. I read them.

The unit can be set for early warnings. Or not. Depends on how the Dr programs it. Even appears the Doc can select which warnings to alert on.
Isn't modern medicine great? Hard pressed to see why all MD's wouldn't take advantage of built diagnostic warnings but YMMV.. It's not too much different then a warning light or code on your car.

Whether or not the doctor programs it, they are capable of monitoring your heart performance remotely.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:36 PM   #17
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I was aware of the audible alert but didn't know it sounded like a European ambulance. yes. I think that would cause a heart attack in an unsuspecting patient and possibly whoever is standing nearby.
My battery was tested 3 weeks ago as having 9 1/2 years left. I can hardly wait!
The audible alerts are on defibrillator, not pacemaker. Nurse was joking with me before surgery last Thursday about that.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:39 PM   #18
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Isn't modern medicine great? Hard pressed to see why all MD's wouldn't take advantage of built diagnostic warnings but YMMV.. It's not too much different then a warning light or code on your car.

Whether or not the doctor programs it, they are capable of monitoring your heart performance remotely.
I'm sure a big fan-its kept me alive ten years past my initial sell by date.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:24 PM   #19
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...
Whether or not the doctor programs it, they are capable of monitoring your heart performance remotely.
So do the doctors take bets on the heart beat increase due to stair climbing or having sex
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:07 AM   #20
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So do the doctors take bets on the heart beat increase due to stair climbing or having sex
My wife got a pacemaker a couple years ago and has a bedside monitor. They schedule a remote reading from the monitor once a year, and an in office visit once a year (alternating every six months).

On the last office visit I was able to attend (before COVID), the nurse asked what my wife was doing on a specific date due to a rapid increase in heart rate. After scratching our heads and looking at a calendar, we realized that was the day she was pushing the lawnmower at her mom's house.

So far, no mention of our bedroom activities. But if they can pick out the high heartrate from lawn mowing, I'm sure other activities show up too...
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