The nurse is caring for a patient with an implanted pacemaker. While observing the cardiac monitor, the nurse notes extra pacer spikes that are not followed by a heartbeat. The nurse suspects which condition?

Failure to capture


• Failure to capture is when the pacer fires a signal, but the heart does not respond with a beat. This is often caused by pacer lead migration on the epicardium.

• Incorrect: Failure to pace is when the pacer fails to fire a signal when it should. This often leads to bradycardia and hypotension because the heart cannot beat at the same rate as the pacer.

• Incorrect: Failure to sense is when the pacer cannot sense the heartbeat, leading to poorly-timed firing by the pacer.

• Incorrect: Asystole is the absence of a heart rate.

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