Navigation Links
Reusing pacemakers from deceased patients is safe and effective, study finds
Date:12/6/2011

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Many heart patients in India are too poor to afford pacemakers. But a study has found that removing pacemakers from deceased Americans, resterilizing the devices and implanting them in Indian patients "is very safe and effective."

Dr. Gaurav Kulkarni of Loyola University Medical Center is a co-author of the study, published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Cardiology. Kulkarni helped conduct the research before coming to Loyola while he was a medical student in India.

Fifty-three poor patients in Mumbai received pacemakers that had been donated by the families of deceased Americans. Following operations to reimplant the devices, all Indian patients were alive and doing well, researchers reported.

The Indian patients had severe heart rhythm disorders called complete heart block and sick sinus syndrome. Typically, the slightest physical exertion would leave them gasping for breath and exhausted. Without pacemakers, they likely would have died within weeks or months. But in India, a pacemaker costs $2,200 to $6,600, which is well beyond the means of many patients.

The pacemaker donations began as a philanthropic project. Physicians later decided to make a formal study of the safety and effectiveness of the donated devices. At every step of the study, patients gave informed consent. After receiving the reused pacemakers, they were followed for an average of nearly two years. There were no infections or other significant complications and no device failures. All but two patients reported marked improvement in their symptoms.

Of four patients who were previously employed, all were able to return to their manual jobs. Twenty-seven women said their symptoms had improved enough so they could resume household chores.

"Implantation of donated permanent pacemakers can not only save lives, but also improve quality of life of needy poor patients," researchers wrote.

Kulkarni added: "Without pacemakers, these patients would pretty much be forced to remain on confined rest, due to cardiac fatigue."

Kulkarni was born and raised in Mumbai, and at the time of the study, was a medical student at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. He interviewed patients before and after they received pacemakers and collected data for the study. "There was a dramatic change in patients after they received their pacemakers," he said.

The Food and Drug Administration prohibits reusing pacemakers in the United States. But there is no prohibition against donating and reusing pacemakers in other countries.

Researchers reported that between January 2004 and January 2010, 121 pacemakers were removed and donated. (The devices were made by Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific.) Sixty pacemakers were selected because they had a battery life greater than three years, but seven were discarded due to further decay in battery life. The remaining 53 pacemakers were rigorously cleaned and sterilized. They were sent to Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, which serves all patients, regardless of income.

There have been previous studies of reused pacemakers. But only one previous study involved the reuse of pacemakers donated by families in the United States. That study included 12 patients in the Philippines.

The authors conclude that reusing pacemakers could "alleviate the burden of symptomatic bradyarrhythmia (abnormally slow heart rate) in impoverished nations around the world."


'/>"/>
Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Handheld Metal Detectors Dont Seem to Affect Pacemakers: Study
2. MRI Safe With More Recent Defibrillators, Pacemakers: Study
3. Heart Devices Like Pacemakers Linked to Infections
4. Brain pacemakers: A long-lasting solution in the fight against depression
5. Pacemakers May Help Predict Strokes
6. Recycling pacemakers may alleviate burden of heart disease across the globe
7. Living donor liver transplantation improves survival over deceased donor transplants
8. Hormone Drugs Might Not Raise Heart-Related Deaths in Prostate Patients
9. UCSF study finds medical marijuana could help patients reduce pain with opiates
10. Preoperative aspirin therapy can benefit cardiac surgery patients
11. New life-saving diagnostic test for HIV patients featured in Better World Report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... Utah (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... of accredited, online continuing education for EMS and firefighting professionals, has released four ... (VILT) Solution. These new courses are taught live in an online classroom and ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... today announced its partnership with Sigfox in the U.S.A. to offer ... nationwide including new offerings on large-scale environmental sensor deployments such as monitoring ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Livionex, Inc., a Silicon Valley ... double blind clinical study for its dental gel that shows significant reduction in plaque ... toothpaste containing triclosan. The study was conducted at the Beckman Laser Institute at UC ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 ... ... Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing private companies and ranked among the top US security companies ... Board of Directors. This announcement brings a year-long independent board nomination process ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... To provide comfort and fuel during ... fast-casual category, announces a hearty and wholesome Winter Menu. Starting today, guests can ... Sandwich, Cranberry Crunch & Honey Parfait, Slow Cooked Smoky Chicken & Sausage Soup, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017  Market Research Future published a ... Devices Market is expected to reach USD 33.6 million during the ... Market Highlights ... The Global Endoscopy Devices Market has been examined as a swiftly ... there is huge demand for endoscopy device in various regions.  The ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... YORK , Jan. 17, 2016  Attorney Advertising -- ... behalf of purchasers of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Anthera" or the ... to obtain additional information and assist the investigation by visiting ... concerns whether Anthera and certain of its officers and/or directors ... Act of 1934. ...
(Date:1/17/2017)...  In a letter to President-elect Donald J. ... outlines AARP,s priorities for Americans age 50 and older ... affordable health care coverage, and lowering the cost of ... to President-elect Trump that "Our nearly 38 million members ... to protect their Medicare and Social Security benefits, protect ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: