Saturday, April 5, 2014

Switching on life with the Pacemaker!

Recently there was news about an Indian-origin doctor implanting  inside heart directly a miniature pacemaker, that is leadless - that too without surgery! Pacemaker is a device that stimulates heart when it fails to beat! Without heart's functioning, there is no life at all; so, this life providing device is much more important than anything else. 

It substitutes natural pacemaker present inside the ailing/failing heart. Electrical impulses generated by it travels through electrodes to stimulate heart muscles. It was developed first in 1926 in Australia and went on further modifications several times. It functioned first externally outside the body with the electrodes (wires) fixed directly to the heart either through the skin or veins. They became wearable then due to the invention of tiny silicon transistor in 1956; later they became implantable in the body with the use of titanium encasing and the rechargeable Lithium cells. Now, permanent pacemakers are also used by placing it below the clavicle bone in the chest below the skin. 

Recently, as noted in the news, the pacemaker has been miniaturized and placed inside the heart chamber itself! It is also programmable from the outside by using wireless controls! 

But the functioning of pacemaker is affected by the magnetic fields present near arc-welding, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scan) and head phone magnets. Even cell phones having more than 3 watts of power can affect it - thereby endangering the life of the patient.
Such a wonder device that keeps life going on from inside human body is really a wonder invention that makes one relive his past live life as before!

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