ICDs (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators) and pacemakers are tiny devices are used to deliver energy via flexible and thin wires, known as leads, to your heart. These devices are implanted underneath your skin, below your collarbone. Even though, the implantation process of both these devices is similar, they are both used for supplying energy to the heart, but there are major differences between them.

Pacemakers
These devices work ‘on demand’ for treating the slow or irregular rhythms of the heart. A pacemaker is implanted for stimulating the heartbeat in cases where the natural pacemaker of the heart (node, sinoatrial) stops properly functioning, has blocked pathways, or has an abnormally low rate.

These electronic devices connect with a one or more leads through a vein to your ventricle or/and your heart’s atrium. In case the heartbeat gets low, the pacemaker sends electrical impulse for stimulating your heart to beat faster.

Typically, these heart rhythm issues may occur among young adults and teens who suffer from congenital heart disease because of buildup of scar tissue from past procedures or surgeries.

Usually, a pacemaker is required by an individual who experience:
• Fainting due to low heartbeat or Syncope
• Atrial fibrillation (irregular rhythms of bottom and top heart chambers)
• Heart related issues which influence the electric system of the heart or heart attack.
• Heart block which typically occurs with aging
• Bradycardia in which the rate of heart beat gets too low

Some patients require pacemakers for a shorter duration, like after a heart surgery or a heart attack, but others might need it for the rest of their lives.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)
ICDs is a tiny electronic device which performs the similar functions as pacemakers; however the major difference between the two is that ICDs are utilized for life threatening irregular heartbeats which originate from the heart’s lower chambers. In case of a cardiac arrest or abnormal and rapid heartbeats that can’t be controlled with other methods and drugs, an ICD is used.

This device can also be implanted in individuals who have weaker muscles of heart and are at risk of experiencing life threatening irregular heartbeats.

ICD is programmed before implantation and when the rate of heartbeats start exceeding the programmed rate in the device, ICD instantly sends an electric pulse straight to the heart to lower the rapidly increasing heartbeats.
Usually, an ICD is required by an individual who:
• Survive a cardiac arrest
• Have a heart disease history
• Have structural heart disease history
• Recurrent syncope or ventricular tachycardia

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