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Artificial Cardiac Pacemakers

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Research questions : Why is the constant beating of the heart important? What causes the heart to beat abnormally? What are the implications of having an abnormal heart beat? What is an artificial pacemaker and how does it regulate an abnormal heart beat? How are artificial pacemakers implanted? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an artificial pacemaker? What are some alternatives used instead of artificial pacemakers? The importance of the heart The heart is an essential organ possessed by every living human. It is vital as it pumps blood rich in oxygen (received from the lungs) to every living cell within the body and pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs (from the body)1. In the opposite diagram of a human heart, the blue sections represent the transport of deoxygenated blood and the red sections represent the transport of oxygenated blood. The heart is necessary in sustaining the lives of every single human being. This is because without oxygen, cells cannot carry out the process of cellular respiration (the release of energy from glucose). This means that the body cells will have insufficient energy to carry out regular functions needed for sustaining life. Every single cell in the human body is affected by the beating of the heart, as enough oxygen has to be supplied for them to function properly. Without the constant beating of the heart, major organs (e.g. the brain and kidneys) will stop functioning at their full potential. It is therefore vital that the heart beats at a continuous rate all of the time. The Electrical System of the Heart The pumping action of our heart is caused by a constant rhythm of contractions and expansions. 2This is also known as a heartbeat. Our heart beats due to electrical impulses sent by the sinus node (also known as the "natural pacemaker".)3The electrical impulse generated travels to the AV node, then to the numerous conduction pathways at the bottom of the heart. ...read more.


This is because the pacemaker effectively replaces the electrical system in the heart (when needed) and regulates the heart beat to a set rate. It increases the heart rate if it falls too low by sending electrical impulses. This causes the heart to beat at a desired rate. With modern pacemakers (demand pacemakers) the heart rate can be controlled depending on what the person is doing.23 For example, when the person is doing physical activity, the pacemaker can adjust, increasing the heart rate to higher than usual. This ensures that enough blood and oxygen is supplied to the body to sustain physical activity. Also, the pacemaker can be turned off when a person goes to sleep, allowing their heart rate to fall as it would naturally. The heart rate can be adjusted to meet the needs of the user. This is important for the user to ensure that they can live a normal life as they usually would with a natural pacemaker. This artificial pacemaker improves the general health and quality of life for an individual because it allows them to perform physical tasks that they would not have been able to do before. Most often, patients can return to being completely active, with the exception of full contact sports, including rugby and wrestling. 24 These sports could damage the pacemaker. Swimming (in the image opposite) is often a recommended sport, as the body is not exposed to such forces due to the dense water environment. It will remedy problems associated with arrhythmia, which includes dizziness (which could lead to fainting), light headedness and shortness of breath. The pacemaker also will improve concentration, as it improves the efficiency of the heart. This means more blood will be provided to organs such as the brain. Now that the brain has sufficient oxygen, it is able to perform at its full potential, hence concentration is improved. ...read more.


There are other valid alternatives to pacemakers, such as specific medications and surgery, yet pacemakers work for a much larger range of heart problems to do with the electrical system. 1 Studypass,(2009) Biology NCEA level2 summary course notes 2 http://www.buzzle.com/articles/normal-heart-beat.html (Buzzle, 16/08/10) 3 http://www.heartmaine.com/services/arrhythmias.php (Cardiovascular Consultants, 16/08/10) 4http://www.ohsu.edu/health/health-topics/topic.cfm?id=8065 ( Oregon Health and Science University, 16/08/10) 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradycardia ( Wikipedia, 16/08/10) Image 1- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9380.htm (Medicine Plus, 16/08/10) Image 2- http://www.ohsu.edu/health/health-topics/topic.cfm?id=8065 ( Oregon Health and Science University, 16/08/10) 5 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0675/is_4_20/ai_90924147/ (Find Articles, 17/08/10) 6 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0675/is_4_20/ai_90924147/ (Find Articles, 17/08/10) 7http://www.heartmaine.com/services/arrhythmias.php (Cardiovascular Consultants, 16/08/10) 8http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/arrhythmia.html (Bupa, UK, 17/08/10) 9http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/arrhythmia.html (Bupa, UK, 17/08/10) Graph- http://www.ceus-nursing.com/ceus-courses/material_detail/145/ (CEUS Nursing, 17/08/10) 11 http://www.webindia123.com/health/age/heart/heart.htm ( Web India, 18/08/10) 12 http://www.ohsu.edu/health/health-topics/topic.cfm?id=8065 ( Oregon Health and Science University, 18/08/10) 13 http://www.ohsu.edu/health/health-topics/topic.cfm?id=8065 ( Oregon Health and Science University, 18/08/10) 14 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Devices-for-Arrhythmia_UCM_301994_Article.jsp ( American Heart Association, 18/08/10) 15 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Devices-for-Arrhythmia_UCM_301994_Article.jsp ( American Heart Association, 18/08/10) 16 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Devices-for-Arrhythmia_UCM_301994_Article.jsp ( American Heart Association, 18/08/10) 17 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html Pacemaker image- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St_Jude_Medical_pacemaker_in_hand.jpg 18 http://www.ohsu.edu/health/health-topics/topic.cfm?id=8065 ( Oregon Health and Science University, 16/08/10) 19 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) 20 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) 21 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) 22 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) X-ray image- http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/11/09/earbuds-interfering-with-pacemakers-defibrillators-says-study/ ( Cruch gear, 20/08/10) Image 1- http://www.gearfuse.com/wireless-kill-switch-for-pace-maker-for-future-euthanasia/ (Gear fuse, 20/08/10) 23 http://www.health2009.com/medicine/104311-78.html 24 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) 25 http://www.globalclassroom.org/djdebord.html (Global Classroom, 19/08/10) 26 http://www.globalclassroom.org/djdebord.html (Global Classroom, 19/08/10) 27 http://www.globalclassroom.org/djdebord.html (Global Classroom, 19/08/10) 28http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_dysrhythmia#SADS ( Wikipedia, 16/08/10) 29 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2748891.stm (BBC news site, 20/08/10) 30 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2748891.stm (BBC news site, 20/08/10) 31http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/internalmedicine/pacemakersanddefib/index.html (University of Iowa, 20/08/10) 32http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/internalmedicine/pacemakersanddefib/index.html (University of Iowa, 20/08/10) 33 http://www.globalclassroom.org/djdebord.html (Global Classroom, 19/08/10) 34 http://www.globalclassroom.org/djdebord.html (Global Classroom, 19/08/10) 35 http://www.health2009.com/medicine/med-9-6-5181.html (Health 2009, 23/08/10) 36 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) 37 http://www.health2009.com/medicine/med-9-6-5181.html (Health 2009, 23/08/10) 38 http://www.health2009.com/medicine/med-9-6-5181.html (Health 2009, 23/08/10) 39 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_pacemaker#Privacy_and_security ( Wikipedia, 16/08/10) 40 http://www.ehow.com/facts_5649374_artificial-pace-maker_.html ( Ehow, 19/08/10) 41 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_pacemaker ( Wikipedia, 16/08/10) 42 http://www.healthgrades.com/procedures/profile/Pacemaker_Implant (Health Grades, 25/08/10) 43 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/760220-treatment (E-medicine, 24/08/10) 44 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/760220-treatment (E-medicine, 24/08/10) 45 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/760220-treatment (E-medicine, 24/08/10) 46 http://www.revolutionhealth.com/drugs-treatments/atropine#cost (Revolution Health, 25/08/10) 47 http://www.healthgrades.com/procedures/profile/Pacemaker_Implant#costs_of_Pacemaker_Implant (Health Grades, 25/08/10) 48 http://www.stopafib.org/catheter.cfm?REFCODE=GooglePPC&Q=atrial%20ablation (Stop A Fib, 26/08/10) 49 http://www.stopafib.org/catheter.cfm?REFCODE=GooglePPC&Q=atrial%20ablation (Stop A Fib, 26/08/10) 50 http://www.stopafib.org/catheter.cfm?REFCODE=GooglePPC&Q=atrial%20ablation (Stop A Fib, 26/08/10) 51 + image-http://www.stopafib.org/catheter.cfm?REFCODE=GooglePPC&Q=atrial%20ablation (Stop A Fib, 26/08/10) ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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5 star(s)

An excellent GCSE level report, which addresses all the research questions posed clearly. Relevant images and statistics are used throughout to illustrate key points and all information is thoroughly referenced. To improve:
1)Include relevant biological detail regarding how the transmission of the electrical impulse controls heart muscle contraction in the different chambers
2)Clearly explain that conditions such as Bradycardia and Arrythmia result in oxygen deprivation, and that oxygen deprivation causes the symptoms
3)Consider including the research questions as sub-headings. The use of sub-headings helps to highlight to the reader that specific criteria or questions have been addressed

Marked by teacher Kerry jackson 19/02/2012

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