Groote Schuur makes African first

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Groote Schuur makes African first

When we think of Groote Schuur Hospital, we usually turn our attention to Dr Christiaan Barnard.

We think of it as being the home of the heart transplant where it made world history. Well, the good hospital is at it again, on a slightly smaller scale. Groote Schuur has become the first health care facility in Africa to implant the world’s smallest pacemaker.

“Our conventional pacemakers have decreased in size over the years, and really have stood the test of time,” said Dr Ashley Chin, a consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at Groote Schuur and the University of Cape Town.

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Not only is the pacemaker different in size but it is also believed to give less complications as it does not have a lead.

“A conventional pacemaker comprises of a generator, which is the size of a watch, and that’s attached to a lead which is inserted into the heart. The problem is that over time the lead and the generator will develop complications over the medium to long-term,” Chin said.

The pacemaker does not need an incision in the chest nor does it need to lay in a pocket under the skin. Instead, through a small groin insertion, the pacemaker can be implanted directly into the heart.

Check out: EWN

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