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(Source: Heart & Soul: Your Guide to Living with Congenital Heart Disease, Heart & Stoke Foundation)

A pacemaker is an electrical device made up of a battery pack and an electrical wire used to treat low or irregular heart rates. The electrical wire is inserted through a vein into the heart to the base of the right ventricle, and a battery pack is placed under the skin. A pacemaker senses the heartbeat and when the rate falls below a specific point, it stimulates the pacemaker to send out a small electrical charge that makes the heart pump. Some newer sensing mechanisms use body temperature, body movement, blood pH, and blood oxygen levels to determine optimal heart activity.

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