TOI reports that for the first time in Israel, a new kind of pacemaker was implanted in a child using innovative methods. It was the first time the pacemaker — identical to the one Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received in July — was implanted by catheterization through the patient’s neck rather than the groin.
The recipient of the new pacemaker in the unusual procedure performed earlier this month was an 18-year-old from Gaza named Shahad, who was treated at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon through Save A Child’s Heart.
Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli humanitarian organization working internationally to save the lives of children from countries where access to pediatric cardiac care is limited or nonexistent. Founded at Wolfson in 1995, Save a Child’s Heart has saved the lives of almost 7,000 children from 70 countries and has brought more than 150 healthcare professionals to Israel for training.
Conventional pacemakers, which help maintain normal heart rhythm, are surgically placed under a patient’s skin into the chest near the collarbone, and then electrical leads are introduced into the heart via a catheterization.
This new pacemaker, the Micra produced by Medtronic, is placed directly into the heart and has no leads. It is smaller than a conventional pacemaker — around the size of a large vitamin capsule or the tip of an adult finger — and involves no surgical incision or scarring. Another advantage is its battery life of at least two decades — far longer than older devices.
“We’ve been treating Shahad since she was a young child. She has a complex [anatomical] heart malformation. All the major parts of her heart are inverse,” explained Dr. Sagi Assa, Senior Pediatric Cardiologist at Save a Child’s Heart and Head of the Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Unit at Wolfson.
Source - TOI/X - Image - Courtesy of Save a Child's Heart