High risk of covid or not : Are we... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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High risk of covid or not

Gsarah
Gsarah

Are we higher risk for covid with a pacemaker? I have no heart problems at all ironically pulse just dropped one day. No underlying illness. I am still in band 9 for age and I’m a bit worried .

19 Replies

They gave you a pacemaker because of only one drop in pulse ? crikey ! I don't believe we are at risk anymore than anyone else without a pm.

Gsarah
Gsarah in reply to bantam12

It was 27 and never went higher than 40. Yep no symptoms just dizzy one morning. Not Poorly before thisGot sent to hospital on Thursday and pm fitted Monday after. They can’t find anything that caused it.

airmanUK
airmanUK in reply to Gsarah

My pacemaker was fitted because I have 2-in-1 AV Block. ECG showed that, when at rest, my heart rate was often dropping to 35 bpm as every other electrical beat was being dropped and I did not feel well whilst that was happening. After having the pacemaker I feel great and my bpm never drops below 60. My opinion is that with the pacemaker I'm no more at risk than anyone else of my age. Certainly I've had no letters telling me that I'm at risk. However, like yourself I suspect, I'd rather an expert tell me one way or another. I'm due a face-to-face review in just over 2 weeks time and I intend to ask the question at that time. Also, I can always contact the cardiac unit and ask them now, but since I'm convinced I'm not at risk, I don't want to bother them. It might be worth your while contacting your cardiac unit and asking them?

MichaelJH
MichaelJHHeart Star

You will be in Band 6, those aged 16 - 65 and at risk. "At risk" includes those with a heart problem, diabetes (not pre-diabetes), severe asthma, BMI of 40 or over, etc.

Gsarah
Gsarah in reply to MichaelJH

No I am in band 9 doctor told me

Gsarah
Gsarah in reply to Gsarah

Apparently my heart problem is fixed now I have pm. Noting else wrong with my heart .

MichaelJH
MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Gsarah

You have a heart problem of some sort as your pulse drops to a level that makes you dizzy because of a lack of oxygen to the brain. I suggest you ring the BHF nurses on Monday to check. Let us know what they say.

Gsarah
Gsarah in reply to MichaelJH

They said it was complete heart block but couldn’t find what caused it. I’m a bit of a mystery to all the cardiologists at Stoke hospital. They checked everything and scanned everything. Insect bite kept cropping up or genetic. No family history though.

Everyoung
Everyoung in reply to Gsarah

Hi, do you have a annual pacemaker check because it does show if you have actually needed to use the pacemaker. I had heart block they didn’t really know what caused it at the time. Eventually they diagnosed me with sarcoidosis which can cause heart block. Sarcoidosis puts me in a clinically extremely vulnerable group not the heart conditions I have. Unfortunately I have lost relatives and some critical who are being saved . None of them were classed as clinically extremely vulnerable but did have underlying health conditions. My advice we all need to stay safe and shield ourselves.

Specs31
Specs31 in reply to Everyoung

Hi, I'm very interested in your reply to Gsarah where you mention sarcoidosis. I have a pacemaker and have recently received a letter - 2 emails and a letter actually -saying I'm clinically extremely vulnerable but thought it must be a mistake. Messaged my doctor's surgery and they rang to say it probably was a mistake. But I had sarcoidosis and was in hospital many years ago and that's what started my heart problems so maybe that's why I've got these letters.

Everyoung
Everyoung in reply to Specs31

Hi , sarcoidosis is a multi systemic disease which is treatable but not no cure. Did you see a specialist which is usually under respiratory as sarcoidosis often attacks your lungs. For many the disease burns out but you can have flare ups. I have been on treatment since 2016 so it can take time for remission. I think the long term plan will be for check ups. Did the sarcoidosis travel to any other organs? I think you may be right on why you received the letter because it’s an autoimmune disease.

Specs31
Specs31 in reply to Everyoung

Hi. Yes the sarcoidosis affected my lungs and legs but I had no treatment apart from the fortnight in hospital and bedrest, this being 30+ years ago. My heart problems had been connected to the attack all that time ago but it wasn't until I saw your post that I remembered it and thought that's probably why I got the letter. Sarcoidosis can come back to bite you later in life!

Everyoung
Everyoung in reply to Specs31

That’s interesting... things have changed a lot in the last years and know a lot more about this rare disease. Do you get breathless? If you do might be an idea to see a respiratory specialist unless they were 💯 that this was never going to affect you again. I am learning more about sarcoidosis and know if it’s in your lungs without treatment can lead to fibrosis. What age were you diagnosed and did you have heart related issues before. Unfortunately because it’s a rare disease your average Gp don’t know enough. It took 4 years for them to diagnose me with many indicators pointing to sarcoidosis because it can mimic other conditions. My cardiologist was a good man because he admitted to the negligence of late diagnosis alongside other specialists which led to the sarcoidosis ending up in my lungs. I did end up with a compensation claim which wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t honest. I’m not a person who over panics or worries but this has taught me to ask more questions about my health. I have a young son so did the claim for him missing out whilst I was ill. Also with heart block and sarcoidosis some people are only diagnosed from the post-mortem after they pass away. Luckily for me a neurologist fitted me with a reveal monitor following a TIA which may have been the sarcoidosis because it messes with the electric activity in your organs. Sorry if I’ve gone on but just wanted to share what I never knew.

Specs31
Specs31 in reply to Everyoung

Thank you so much. That's really interesting. As well as the heart block I have SVT and I have a mild to moderate leaking valve which one doctor thought could have been there from childhood but I don't think so. You were very unfortunate to have the late diagnosis leading to the lung problem. What is a reveal monitor?

Everyoung
Everyoung in reply to Specs31

How interesting I also have moderate mitral valve regurgitation , a heart murmur in child hood with a small hole in the heart which I believe led to the mitral valve disease. I also since last year started getting episodes of tachycardia but have told me it’s not a concern. The reveal monitor is like a heart monitor but is surgically inserted under the skin to pick up heart rhythms which isn’t always picked up in a 24 hour monitor. The reveal luckily showed heart block.I’m a lot better these days the medication is working for the sarcoidosis.

Everyoung
Everyoung in reply to Everyoung

The reveal monitor was replaced by a pace maker.

Everyoung
Everyoung in reply to Specs31

Sorry forgot to say the reveal monitor was replaced by a pacemaker.

Specs31
Specs31 in reply to Everyoung

Glad you've got the pacemaker now- that should give you some peace of mind. And I hope the sarcoidosis stays away. Thank you for all the information.

Gaz_chops
Gaz_chops in reply to Gsarah

What your GP has told you will almost certainly be correct as per the government guidelines.The Gov.uk website says underlying health conditions guidelines are 'chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)'

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