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Difference Between Defibrillator and Pacemaker

Defibrillator vs Pacemaker

The heart is crucial to man’s life. Any alteration to its activity may signal impending problems that may also arise to more complicated illnesses. Thus, it is essential to keep the heart healthy.
But what if the “more complicated illnesses” arrive? Both a defibrillator and a pacemaker can intervene with these. But what is the difference between the two?

A defibrillator is a device that introduces electrical current or shock to the heart to correct cases of ventricular fibrillation (a quivering of the heart which limits the heart muscle from pumping blood to the body), cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal electrical activity), and ventricular tachycardia (fast heart rhythm). It acts on the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial node. Without the aid of defibrillation, or the process of using a defibrillator, these abnormalities encountered can lead to more serious complications or even death.

There are several types of defibrillators, such as:

Manual External Defibrillator which is used in conjunction with an electrocardiogram to diagnose heart conditions.
Manual Internal Defibrillator which is similar to the external version yet utilizes internal paddles for direct administration of effect.

Automated External Defibrillator which is a portable type that can be used by anyone even without intensive training.
Semi-automated External Defibrillator which is used by more advanced technicians. It also works as an alternative pacemaker.

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) which can be implanted pacemakers.
Wearable Cardiac Defibrillator which is a vest that is similar to an ICD.
Meanwhile, a pacemaker is a small device that is put on the heart to treat abnormal electrical activities such as arrhythmias and other heart rhythm abnormalities. Persons suffering from faintness, fatigue, and shortness of breath may indicate impending arrhythmias and other heart conditions. Pacemakers intervene and correct these abnormalities.

A pacemaker system is composed of a battery, a computerized generator, and wires with sensors called electrodes on one end. The battery powers the generator, and both are enclosed by a thin metal box. The wires attach the generator to the heart.

There are two primary types of pacemakers, namely:
Standard Pacemaker which sends an electrical impulse via special wires that are attached to the heart.
Pacemaker Combination, or Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator, as earlier discussed above. This is commonly used in lethal types of heart rhythms.

Summary:

1.A defibrillator is a device that introduces an electrical current or shock to the heart to correct cases of ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmias, and ventricular tachycardia while a pacemaker is a small device that is put on the heart to treat abnormal electrical activities such as arrhythmias and other heart rhythm abnormalities.
2.Both defibrillators and pacemakers act to correct heart rhythms.
3.An Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD), which is a type of defibrillator, is also a type of a pacemaker.


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