Difference Between AICD and Pacemaker
AICD vs Pacemaker
With the aid of advances in medical technology, many devices are now valued because of their functionality and great health benefits. In arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and abnormal heart rate (tachy / bradycardia) for example, there are already several electronic devices that are used to watch over the heart and give the needed electrical therapy whenever the need arises. Pacemakers and AICDs (automatic / artificial implantable cardioverter defibrillator) can help lengthen the lives of patients who suffer from these kinds of heart ailments.
Pacemakers are used on patients so that it can help regulate a normal heartbeat or heart pattern, most especially to those experiencing slow and irregular heartbeats. This device is composed of a generator powered by a battery which gives off signals to one’s heart through actual wires that are literally connected from the device to the heart. It is also a sensor in the sense that it automatically fires a stimulus or signal to the heart one’s it will detects abnormal (slowed) beating. These signals are electrical in nature which promotes better timing of the beating. The majority of pacemakers are preprogrammed to deliver the said signal once the beating falls below the 50 to 70 beats acceptable line.
On the contrary, an AICD is a more sophisticated device than the pacemaker. Unlike the former, it can send off a signal when there’s a fatal rhythm abnormality detected as pre-specified in the device. At the same time, it can mimic the action of pacemakers by regulating the heartbeat if ever it slows down to unacceptable levels. Nevertheless, it can also do the opposite ‘“ sends off signals for abnormally fast heartbeats. This feature is known as sending defibrillation shocks. In addition, it is an intelligent device for it can recognize and distinguish normal sudden increases of the heart rate that are due to physical exertion like exercise.
Pacemakers are usually indicated for patients who have an abnormal SA node (the natural biologic pacemaker that initiates the beating signal of the heart). It is also prescribed to those who are suffering from a heart block (when the electrical signals from the SA node can’t reach the lower heart chambers, which leads to a slower heart rate).
AICDs are usually intended for those who suffer from graver heart ailments like those who have lived through a heart attack and those who have experienced VT (ventricular tachycardia) and VF (ventricular fibrillation). AICDs offer both defibrillation (giving high intensity electric shock) and cardioversion (giving shock impulses in synchrony). The defibrillating shock is so strong that it will almost feel as if somebody kicked you on your chest. Nevertheless, this is what makes the AICD save lives.
1. AICD can do the function of the pacemaker (regulate the heart rate when it slows down) while the latter can’t do the functions of the former.
2. The AICD is a more sophisticated device, not to mention, more expensive because it can do both defibrillation and cardioversion unlike the standard pacemaker.
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