I returned from holiday last Saturday week and on Sunday I woke up in what seemed sinus rhythm but my pulse rate was 49. Before I had AF and pacemaker etc. My resting heart rate was always high forties to low fifties. I did not feel great Sunday night and phoned the emergency doctor who advised if I was worried to go to A&E. I decided to have an early night as I have no problems sleeping and thought I would sleep it off.

The next day I thought I would pop into the Pacemaker clinic and ask if they could do a quick reading. I informed the receptionist that I thought I had a pacemaker problem. There must have been 30 patients waiting so I was surprised to be called immediately into the Cardiogolists office who groned that he was in the middle of a clinic and "what's your problem" I explained and he said definately not the battery your home BP machine is probably reading wrong i.e. missing a soft beat and you probably have a virus." "I am not concerned and will make you an appointment." I am due to go on Friday. I have continued to get pulse readings below 70 which my pacemaker is set at. He added that I had a state of the art device and I mentioned the airport scanner and he retorted you could sit under that for a week and it would have no effect on your device.

I am puzzled about my heartbeat reverting to my old resting rate and wonder if anyone here has had a similar experience?

Frighteningly I read that pacemakers are killing an average of 2000 patients a year in UK but of course he said mine couldn't fail!!!!

11 Replies

  • May I suggest you stop reading the headlines in the Mail. Look at this link from the BHF

    10 Aug 2015 - No need to panic over “pacemaker death probe”.

    You did the right thing going to see your consultant but he does sound as though he was somewhat dismissive. My husband has a pacemaker and he did have his resting rate drop below the set pacing - in his case 60 - right after an short spell in AF, but it soon went back to normal. If you are still concerned, keep monitoring and ask for an appointment at your clinic to download the info as without that information I don't know how anyone can really make an informed judgement.

    I am currently reading Doctoring Data by Dr Malcom Kendrick - basically just how to read the actual statistics from the research that these headlines are made up from - believe me - that is far more scary.

  • This is probably a very stupid question, but is your pacemaker to sort your AF? I didn't think pacemakers could correct AF? (I am new to all this so am probably sounding somewhat daft..sorry!)

  • They can't! Pacemakers and AF are complex. You use the pacemaker either to maintain a good ventricular rhythm when using beta blockers or have a pacemaker and ablate the AV node (the natural pacemaker) and rely on the machine. The AF will still continue but your pulse will be controlled by the PM.


  • I was offered ablation or pacemaker because Diltiazem was making my heart beat too slow and pause from time to time. I'm going for the ablation as I would not like to take the meds I'm on forever even at the strength I am now taking.

  • good decision. I only did the pacemaker after three failed ablasions. However they ususally work.

  • No the pacemaker is to stop my pulse going below 70. I have tachiebrady and AF. Whilst in corany care last year following a tia. (It was tug of war between the stroke ward and corany ward) my heart stopped for 7 seconds during the night and they said that's too long and hence the pacemaker inserted a few days later to prevent bradycardia. The pacemaker stopped the dizzy spells I had started having and i felt great until this week. To answer your question my pacemaker was raised from 60 to 70 to perhaps help the AF but they are not intended for AF treatment

  • Did he even do an Ecg or check your pulse? If not then do cardiologists have esp from across the room to tell what the pacemaker is doing?

  • He held my wrist for a brief moment and just went "hum"

  • Let us know how you go after you have been back to the clinic and had a download. Hubble had PM inserted for same reason - his heart was regularly pausing for 9 secs and he was completely asymptomatic - consultant said he should have lost consciousness - consultant don't know everything. It has worked very well for him and he has refused treatment for the AF, apart from anticoagulation, but he only has a very occasional episodes which revert to NSR within a few hours. He is fit and well - fitter than me who is 17 years younger a he is 81.

  • I have a PM for same reason (brady, sick sinus, AF). For 3 years ago I had some new feelings and pulse rate dropped occasionally under the set rate of 70. I contacted my PM clinic and after a week or two they noticed that the PM was near it's end. So my PM was prematurally changed after 6 years instead of anticipated 7-8 years. All went well. Everything is different and really acute if one has a PM and ablation of the atrioventricular node when one is truly PM dependant. We bradycardists have our old bradycardic heart left if PM fails.

  • what a frivolous jerk!!!! He should take things more seriously. Obviously something is wrong or it could not be lower than the settings. I am a social worker and I can determine that. I am not in your healthcare system but here I would insist on being cared for.

You may also like...