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.

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