Heart pacemaker

Heart pacemaker

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Credit: TIM VERNON, LTH NHS TRUST/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart pacemaker held between finger and thumb. A pacemaker is a device that supplies electrical impulses to the heart to keep it beating regularly. The main body of the pacemaker (round) is implanted in the chest between the skin and the bones and muscles of the ribs. The wires are implanted into the heart muscle. Pacemakers are fitted in patients with a malfunctioning sinoatrial node, the part of the heart that initiates the heartbeat, or in patients with a heart block, which impairs the nerve impulses generated by the node. Pacemakers may provide a regular impulse or discharge only when a heartbeat is missed.

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