A pacemaker is a small device implanted under the skin on the right or left side of the chest just under the collarbone. Pacemakers are used to treat slow heart rhythms called bradycardia. Once a pacemaker is implanted it will continuously monitor the heart to detect and painlessly correct slow heart rhythms. The pacemaker system includes one or two small 'leads' threaded into the heart. The leads are flexible, thin, insulated wires which relay information about each heart beat back to the pacemaker. The leads also send painless electrical impulses from the pacemaker to the heart. Pacemakers are programmable and should be checked frequently by your cardiologist or their team. Most pacemakers can be safely and effectively monitored from your home.

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A problem with any part of the heart's normal electrical system can cause an arrhythmia. A heartbeat that is too slow is called bradycardia, one type of an arrhythmia sometimes treated with an implanted pacemaker. A heartbeat that is too fast is called tachycardia, another type of arrhythmia. Many arrhythmias are harmless, but some can be very serious. If arrhythmias develop in the bottom part of the heart, called the ventricle, the heart will be unable to pump blood effectively. If fast ventricular arrhythmias are left untreated you could pass out within seconds and die within minutes (Sudden Cardiac Death). To prevent SCD the arrhythmia must be treated quickly with an electrical shock. If you are at risk for developing SCD your physician may speak with you about the benefits of an implanted defibrillator.

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Also called ICD's (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator), they are implanted under the skin on the right or left chest wall. ICD's are used to treat lethal arrhythmia's: fast, unorganized heart rhythms which can be fatal. In the event a fast heart rhythm is detected, the ICD will use 'painless' electrical impulses or a jolt of electricity to correct the arrhythmia and return the heart to a normal sinus rhythm. All defibrillators also have the ability to treat slow heart rhythms with the use of a pacemaker embedded within the ICD. Your defibrillator may also include Bi-ventricular pacing support to help treat symptoms of congestive heart failure. ICD's are programmable and require frequent follow up by your physician team. Most can be monitored safely and effectively from your home.

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Home based remote follow- up is newer more comprehensive way to monitor implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. Remote follow- up is done from the comfort of your own home. In most cases once the monitor is properly installed you will not have to worry about it. The remote monitor will turn on automatically at a set time daily and briefly check the hardware in your device. If the device is operating as programmed the monitor will 'go to sleep' until the next scheduled check up. If a significant fast heart rhythm develops or a device malfunction is detected RMG and your physician will be sent an immediate alert. In the event that you have no significant heart rhythm disturbances RMG and your physician will retrieve necessary information on a pre-set schedule.

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Trans-telephonic monitoring is a convenient way to monitor implanted pacemakers via the telephone from your home. TTM is best suited for pacemakers which cannot be monitored using other remote monitoring equipment. Being managed by TTM does require the use of simple equipment at home which will be provided at no additional charge to you.

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You may call our office during regular business hours at 202 505-1052, email us at info@myrhythmnow.com or fax us at 202 280-1457. If you are experiencing a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital.

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