Introduction to Pacemaker Rhythms

Overview

pacemaker illustration

This page provides an introduction to pacemaker rhythms and links to training materials on this website.

Pacemakers provide an artifical electical impulse to the heart. This impulse and the hearts natural electrical signals can be interpreted. We provide a training module for pacemaker rhythms and links to practice strips of pacemaker patients.

There are multiple types of pacemaker rhythms:

  • Normal Single Chamber Pacemaker
  • Normal Dual Chamber Pacemaker
  • Failure to Capture
  • Failure to Pace
  • Failure to Sense


Pacemaker Rhythm Sample Tracing

pacemaker rhythm EKG tracing

Categories of Pacemaker Rhythms

Normal Single Chamber Pacemaker

Normal Single Chamber Pacemaker EKG tracing

Failure to Capture

Failure to Capture EKG tracing Failure to capture means that the ventricules fail to response to the pacemaker impulse. On an EKG tracing, the pacemaker spike will appear but it will not be followed by a QRS complex.

Failure to Pace

Failure to Pace EKG tracing Failure to pace occurs when the pacemaker does not generate an electrical impulse. On an EKG tracing, pacemaker spikes will be missing.

Failure to Sense

Failure to sense occurs when the pacemaker does not detect the patient's myocardial depolarization. This can often be seen on an EKG tracing as a spike following a QRS complex too early.

Training Resources

Pacemaker Rhythms Training

As a starting point for mastering pacemaker rhythms, we recommend our free pacemaker rhythms module This module focuses on the features and qualifying criteria of pacemaker rhythms and failures.

Pacemaker Rhythms

EKG Rhythm Tests

Hundreds heart rhythms in this practice test. Test can be tailored for specific learning needs.

EKG Rhythm Tests

Heart Rhythm Quiz

PracticalClinicalSkills.com also has a heart rhythm quiz that is similar to a written exam. Twenty tracings are presented. Feedback as you progress. Score at the end.

ECG Quiz

ECG Monitor Challenge

Another type of quiz uses a simulated patient monitor. You must evaluate a scrolling waveform rather than a paper tracing.

ECG Monitor Challenge


External References

Wikipedia
Free Dictionary