What Is The Difference Between Abnormal Heart Rhythms Treated By Pacemakers And Defibrillators?

Dr. Ruskin answers the question: 'Treated By Pacemaker Vs. Defibrillator?'

— -- Question: What is the difference between abnormal heart rhythms treated by pacemakers and defibrillators?

Answer :Pacemakers are generally used to treat slow heart rhythms, which are a form of arrhythmia. In addition, there are some rapid heart rhythms that can actually be stopped by rapid pacing. However, because that is not highly reliable, rapid pacing techniques are always used in conjunction with a defibrillator. So a pacemaker device is used predominantly to treat slow heart rhythms and an implantable defibrillator, which actually contains a pacemaker within it, can be used to pace terminate some arrhythmias but also to provide backup defibrillation if the pacing doesn't work.