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Discharge Instructions for Patients with Pacemakers Banner

Discharge Instructions for Patients with Pacemakers

Cardiac Patient Care Handbook

General Instructions

  • Carry your ID Card for your pacemaker with you at all times. This card will be given to you in the hospital or mailed to you. Medic Alert Bracelets are available from your pharmacist to wear at all times.
  • Follow-up appointments with your doctor will be discussed with you before discharge. Notify your doctor if you have a fever of 100 degrees or higher that lasts for a few days. A slight bulge will be felt at the pacemaker site.
  • Please notify your doctor if you notice any of the following around your pacemaker site: *A bruise that does not go away *Soreness or yellow, green, or brown drainage from the site *Any swelling from the site.

Incision Care

  • Leave steri-strips over your site until they start to fall off. You do not need a dressing over site unless draining.
  • Keep your incision clean and pat dry. Do not scrub. You may shower or bathe as long as your incision isn’t submerged or directly sprayed upon until well healed.
  • For comfort, wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Report any signs of infection, fever, pain, swelling, redness, oozing, or heat at site especially if these symptoms increase after the first 3 to 4 days.

Activity Precautions

  • Avoid activity that involves rough contact with the pacemaker site.
  • The doctor will instruct you when you may resume driving.
  • Usual arm movement is allowed but avoid lifting your arm over your head on the pacemaker side or lifting over 10 pounds for 4 weeks.


  • Take your prescribed medications as instructed. Avoid aspirin products for 2 weeks unless told otherwise.

Safety Measures

  • Carry your ID Card and list of medications with you at all times.
  • Advise dentist or other medical personnel you see that you have a pacemaker. If you require a MRI, discuss this with your doctor.
  • Avoid working with radar, strong magnets, or powerful electric devices. Inform your doctor if you weld and special guidelines will be given to you. If a powerful electrical device makes you dizzy, step away from the device.
  • Grounded home electrical appliances have little or no effect on pacemakers. This includes microwaves, TVs and garage door openers.
  • Be prepared to show your card if you are required to walk through a metal detector, such as at the airport.

Antibiotic Therapy

During the first 8 weeks after your pacemaker insertion, you may need antibiotics before any dental work or certain tests or operations. Let the dentist or doctor who is caring for you know that you have a pacemaker.
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