Living with a pacemaker implant in a pediatric:
Artificial pacemakers have come a long way since their inception and now typically allow a child to live an everyday life for eight to ten years (depending on the type of heart disease). In addition, technological advancements in the circuitry of pacemakers have lessened the potential for interference from appliances like microwaves, which could have previously altered or impacted the pacemaker. A pediatric pacemaker nevertheless needs special care.
What is referred to as a pacemaker implant?
When the heart beats too slowly, a permanent pacemaker can be implanted under the skin to send electrical signals to the heart to speed it up. In cases where the heart’s natural pacemaker (the sinoatrial, or SA, node) is damaged, malfunctioning, or unable to stimulate a standard heart rate or rhythm because of blocked electrical pathways, a permanent pacemaker may be implanted.
Multiple subcutaneous sites are suitable for implanting pediatric pacemakers. The fatty tissue can assist shield the generator from regular everyday activities such as playing; hence this is a standard placement for the pacemaker in children (infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary schoolers). As a child approaches puberty, the generator is typically relocated to the location right below the collarbone on the child’s shoulder.
Understanding the reason why pacemakers are recommended:
It is possible for the heart’s natural pacemaker to malfunction, causing it to send impulses that are too slow, too fast, or too irregular to generate adequate contractions of the heart’s chambers. An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, is a medical condition (an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause the heart to pump less effectively). Reach out to pediatric pacemaker implantation surgery in Coimbatore if your child has rhythm issues.
When an arrhythmia is present, it can disrupt the normal function of the heart by:
- Due to the electrical signal, the heart is pumping too quickly, which prevents the chambers from filling with blood.
- Due to the electrical signal causing the heart to pump too slowly or irregularly, not enough blood is being pumped to the body.
In its most basic form, the heart is a muscular pump. The heart, like any other pump, needs the energy to work. The electrical conduction system within the heart is responsible for providing the necessary energy for the heart to pump.
The precautions to be followed after a pacemaker implant:
A medical ID necklace or bracelet after pediatric pacemaker implantation might help others know what your child is dealing with in case of an emergency. It’s recommended that everybody old enough to carry a wallet also carry an ID card.
Modern pacemakers are not affected by the following:
- Microwave ovens
- Remote controls, TV, radios, and stereos
- TV and radio transmitters
- Ham radios and CB radios
- Electric blankets and heating pads
- Gardening machinery, such as electric trimmers
- Tools for the kitchen, such as food processors, toasters, and electric knives
- Personal care gadgets that use electricity, such as electric shavers, hair dryers, and curling irons
- People can use metal detectors. Even though security metal detectors probably won’t hurt your child, don’t let them stand next to one for long periods.
- Copy and fax machines
Can the child perform regular activities after a pacemaker implant?
Once the device is in place and the first three to four weeks of recovery are over, your child should be able to do most of the same things as other kids their age. Your pediatric cardiac surgeon will instruct you on activities that are right for your child and their health.
But no matter what sport or activity the child does, the area over the pacemaker or ICD should not get hit.
A blow to that area can change how it works when the pacemaker or ICD is close to the chest or abdomen. Because of this, most doctors don’t let kids with pacemakers or ICDs play contact sports. If your child gets hurt in that area, you should take them to the doctor. Speak to a pediatric cardiologist in Coimbatore to know what your child can perform after the procedure.
Talk to your child’s doctor if they feel sick after an activity or if you have questions about starting a new activity.
How to ensure the pacemaker implant is working correctly?
Even though your child’s device is made to last 8 to 10 years, you should have it checked often to make sure it is still working. Checking devices may be done at different times by different doctors. Most can be checked from home using a phone and special equipment from the company that made your child’s device. Your child’s doctor will also suggest that the device be checked in person at certain times. Any changes to a device’s settings must be done in person by a trained medical staff member using a device programmer.
During a “device interrogation,” a unique wand is placed on the skin over the pacemaker or ICD to connect it to a device programmer. During interrogation, the battery life, the condition of the lead wires, and other functions are checked.
The device sends the data to the programmer, who then looks at it. Most home interrogation systems connect the device to special equipment using wireless technology. The equipment records the information and sends it to the doctor who cares for your child.
Your child’s doctor may ask you to check their pulse rate from time to time. Reach out to a pediatric heart hospital immediately about any strange symptoms or symptoms similar to what your child had before the device was put in.