For those who have a cardiac device implanted in their body such as a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the importance of routinely checking on the device can’t be overstated. Regular monitoring allows for earlier detection and warning signs to alert you and your doctor if any changes need to be made. In this blog post, we delve into the top ten things that can go wrong with your cardiac device when it is not monitored properly, so read on to find out what they are!
- Malfunctioning Device: Without regular monitoring, you may not be aware of any malfunctions or device problems until it’s too late. Without remote monitoring, doctors can miss signs of a malfunctioning device that could otherwise have been caught and corrected in time.
- Battery Failure: Over time, the battery running your cardiac device will need to be replaced as it runs out of charge. This is usually easy to detect with remote monitoring, but without it, you may find yourself with a dead battery at an inconvenient time when there is no way to replace it quickly.
- Clogged Leads: The leads used to connect the device to your heart can become clogged over time due to the accumulation of debris. This can be difficult to monitor without remote monitoring, so it is important to keep an eye on this or risk your device not working properly.
- Arrhythmias: Arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia can be hard to detect without regular monitoring, as they are sometimes symptomless but can be very dangerous if left untreated. With remote monitoring, doctors can pick up any irregularities in the heart rate early on and take steps to prevent any further complications arising from them.
- Low Signal Strength: Many cardiac devices rely on a strong signal strength between the device and its external components in order to work correctly. If there is ever a problem with the signal strength, it may not be detected until too late if there is no remote monitoring in place.
- Drug Interactions: Many cardiac devices interact with medications, and this can be difficult to track without remote monitoring as it requires regular testing over a long period of time. Without monitoring, doctors may not realize that the device is being affected by certain drugs until it’s too late.
- Electrical Malfunction: When an electrical malfunction occurs in your device, such as a loose wire or broken connection, it can cause the device to stop working altogether and could potentially become life-threatening if left unnoticed for too long. With regular remote monitoring, any signs of an electrical problem can be caught early on before it becomes too serious.
- Infections: If your cardiac device is not regularly monitored, then any infections or inflammation caused by the device may be left unnoticed until it becomes too severe to ignore. This can be particularly dangerous if the infection spreads to other parts of your body and causes further complications.
- Overheating: Many cardiac devices contain components that get very hot when in use, and without regular monitoring, this could lead to an overheating issue which can damage both the device and your body if left unchecked for too long. With remote monitoring, any signs of overheating can be picked up quickly so you know when maintenance or repairs are needed.
- Undetected Wear and Tear: As with any mechanical device, regular wear and tear can cause problems over time if it is not monitored regularly. With remote monitoring, doctors can pick up on signs of wear and tear before it becomes too severe and take steps to prevent further damage from occurring.
Overall, regular remote monitoring of your cardiac device is essential for ensuring that everything is working correctly. Without this monitoring in place, you may miss out on important warning signs until it’s too late. If you need help, contact us today at Virginia Arrhythmia Consultants. We have highly experienced physicians and the latest tools and techniques to improve our patient’s quality of life and extend their life expectancy. Your heart is in skilled hands.