How Pacemaker Can Contribute to Hypotension and Pedal Edema

How Pacemaker Can Contribute to Hypotension and Pedal Edema

“Pacemaker syndrome” is something which implanted patients (normally diagnosed with cardiomyopathy) should be made aware of. Speaking from experience, implanted patients are not often advised on the potential side effects of carrying a pacemaker except the reaction that can occur at the site of the pacemaker incision.

The machine’s function and reading are controlled by someone at the pacemaker clinic. The patient would then periodically visit to have a reading done and the pacemaker may require tweaking depending on the information received.

However, pacemaker patients should be advised to watch out for symptoms such as,

  • Neurologic: Fatigability, memory loss, confusion, and often transient blackouts
  • Cardiovascular: Low blood pressures, exertional dyspnea, orthopnea, palpitations, a decrease in exercise capacity, syncope
  • Hemodynamic: Prominent neck pulsations, abdominal pulsations, right upper quadrant (RUQ) pain

Pacemaker syndrome can result in,

  • Hypotension, tachypnea, low oxygen saturation, lung rales.
  • Narrow pulse pressure and low pulse volume.
  • Neck vein distension and cannon wave in JVP tracing.
  • Precordial examination may reveal regurgitant murmurs and variability in the intensity of first heart sound.
  • Pulsatile liver and ascites may be present in severe cases.
  • Lower extremity edema.
  • Neurologic examination may reveal confusion, dizziness, or altered mental status.

For more information on this, please click HERE. If you have recently been fitted with a pacemaker due to your heart condition, please talk to your clinician if you have experienced any of the above symptoms.

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