Children Face Strangulation Risk from Pacemaker Leads
Children with an epicardial lead implantation that is connected to a pacemaker face a slight risk of cardiac strangulation, says Health Canada.
The pacemaker is connected to the heart using epicardial wires in children with an abnormal heart rhythm. These wires are fixed to the heart’s outer surface. As a child grows, these leads may constrict and apply pressure on the heart, resulting in cardiac strangulation, reports the Canadian Press.
Signs of cardiac strangulation differ from patient to patient. Undue pressure on the heart caused by these wires may result in chest pain, general fatigue, fainting, and symptoms of cardiac arrest.
In Canada, there have been reports of rare incidences of cardiac strangulation among children with pacemaker wires. Globally, eight such cases, including two deaths, have been reported. Early detection of cardiac strangulation has saved patients who underwent surgery to replace the wires, according to the Canadian Press.