Temporary Pacing Wire

Temporary cardiac pacing is indicated when an abnormally slow heart rate (bradyarrhythmia) causes symptoms and/or severe hemodynamic impairment and when permanent cardiac pacing is not immediately indicated, not available, or the risk of inserting a permanent pacemaker exceeds potential benefit. The main reason for temporary cardiac pacing is to treat severe symptoms and/or hemodynamic instability due to a bradycardia, or to prevent potential deterioration resulting in hemodynamic instability. Sometimes, temporary cardiac pacing is indicated for abnormally slow heart rate that results from an acute and reversible cause that will likely not require permanent pacing. Less commonly, it can be used in instances of abnormally fast heart rate (tachyarrhythmia) until it resolves or until long-term therapy can be initiated. In some cases, temporary cardiac pacing can be lifesaving.

What to Expect

In temporary cardiac pacing, wires are inserted through a large vein in the leg (femoral vein) or neck (jugular vein), and are directly placed in the heart chamber(s). The wires are then connected to a computer (box) which will transmit electrical signals to the heart chamber to enable the heart to beat. Local anasthesia is given to the puncture site for pain relief. Should you require it, sedative medication may be given as well.

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