Personal Programmable Pacemaker

Doctor can tailor device to suit patient's needs

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A heart failure pacemaker that can be programmed to suit each patient's needs has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Medtronic's InSync III includes a unique feature called sequential bi-ventricular pacing -- which allows doctors to control a user's contractions of the left and right sides of the heart.

Heart failure is characterized by impaired pumping ability that causes a lack of oxygen-rich blood to be distributed properly to the body's organs and tissues. Symptoms include extreme fatigue and breathlessness. It's the leading cause of hospitalization among Americans older than age 65, the company says in a press release.

The device uses electrical impulses to coordinate movement of the heart's lower chambers (ventricles), bringing the heart into a more normal pumping rhythm. Research has shown that pacemakers result in 50 percent fewer hospitalizations than among patients on drug therapy alone, Medtronic says.

For more information about heart failure, visit the Journal of the American Medical Association. For more about pacemakers, check out the National Library of Medicine.


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