There may be times when a patient may have heart irregularities or even heart disease although, the heart is able to beat normally without the use of a pacemaker. The problem becomes when the heart suddenly because of duress or illness becomes too weak and begins to beat slower. Sick sinus syndrome or sinus node dysfunction occurs when the sinus node in the heart does not function properly. Sinus arrest- occurs when the sinus node stops working or changes the rate at which the heart beats; sinoatrial block- occurs when the electrical current is prevented from reaching the atria in the heart; bradycardia-tachycardia- occurs when the heart beats from very slow to very fast; bradycardia- occurs when the hearts beats at a slow rate. Incidents of sudden cardiac death, stroke, cardiomyopathy can occur as a result of heart disease. The use of external pacemakers should be used on patients who are in an in patient setting facility and may require cardiac assistance with their heart due to other problems that put stress and strain on the heart eg. hospital procedures or illness. The pacing function of an external pacemaker will send an electrical impulse to the heart that will continue the heart's beating process when the heart rate is too slow or if it stops. The external pacemaker also has a sensing function that will monitor the heart's regular rate and if it is within normal limits the external pacemaker will not send an electrical pulse to the heart. In an in patient setting the external pacemaker apparatus is continuously monitored on the patient by medical cardiac staff in same way that regular cardiac telemetry is monitored. This is so that physicians are making sure that the external pacemaker is functioning properly and that all vital signs on a patient are normal or regular.
Why sure, a patient can even get an MRI done with the external pacemaker while in the in patient facility. Thank you for asking.