What happens if a pacemaker fails? If your pacemaker fails, you are at increased risk of stroke and heart failure. The risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) increases by five times. The risk of death-related to cardiac problems doubles. Therefore, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
What are signs of pacemaker failure?
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Fainting or loss of consciousness.
- Feeling like your heart is fluttering (palpitations)
- Hard time breathing.
- Slow or fast heart rate, or a combination of both.
- Constant twitching of muscles in the chest or abdomen.
- Frequent hiccups.
How common is pacemaker failure? A complete failure of a modern pacemaker is rare. Most of the time, problems occur when the pacemaker is working properly, but it may just need to be reprogrammed. Other times, there might be a true problem with the battery, a lead, or an electrode.
What causes pacemaker failure? The main causes of this failure are lead dislodgment, low output, lead maturation, and lead or pacer failure (fibrosis, fracture, low pacing voltage, or elevated myocardial pacing thresholds).