Infant's heart granted much-needed surgery

An internal defibrillator to automatically regulate and trigger the heartbeat has been implanted in a 10-month-old girl.

January 5, 2006 04:39


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An internal defibrillator to automatically regulate and trigger the heartbeat has been implanted in a 10-month-old girl at Schneider Children's Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva. The unusual procedure - the first in Israel and one of the first in the world on such a small patient, according to SCMCI doctors - involved an eight-kilo baby who suffered cardiac arrest from a heart muscle disorder. Medtronic, the maker of the device, suited it specially to her size and age. Before the surgery, the baby had an exterior Lifepak defibrillator for use in emergencies; it sounded the alert twice at home, and her parents had to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and manually give her heart an electric shock to save her. The surgery, which took 90 minutes and required implantation inside the abdominal wall and attachment of electrodes to the membrane covering her heart, has been performed up to now on children weighing more than 20 kilos, said Dr. Einat Birk, who headed the team.

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