8 May, 2023 @ 12:09
1 min read

Hospital in Spain’s Valencia becomes first in Europe to implant miniature pacemaker in premature baby

Hospital in Spain's Valencia becomes first in Europe to implant miniature pacemaker in premature baby
Hospital operation credit Pixabay Free image

VALENCIA’S La Fe hospital has successfully implanted- for the first time in Europe- a miniature pacemaker into a prematurely-born baby.

The youngster, weighing barely one-and-a-half kilos, had suffered a congenital atrioventricular blockage(CCAVB) meaning the heart could not pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

Around one in 22,000 babies are born with CCAVB with a high incidence of prolonged illness or even death.

Head of La Fe’s Arrhythmia Unit, Joaquin Osca, said: “The normal-sized pacemaker could not be implanted inside the baby’s cardiac cavity due to its size but we used a miniaturised version instead.”

The small pacemaker was imported from the United States after its use was authorised by the Spanish Agency for Medicine and Health Products.

The potential of such a unit was first demonstrated in 2018 and is roughly the size of an almond.

The world’s first micro pacemaker implant into a premature baby took place last year in Kentucky.

The incision needed by surgeons just below the rib cage is just around one centimetre in size.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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