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Lessons From 118 Pacemaker Implantations

Rodman E. Taber, MD; Dale F. Webb, MD
JAMA. 1965;194(10):1133-1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090230101034.
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THE PATIENT with symptomatic heart block lives under the constant threat of unexpected syncope and collapse. The implantable pacemaker has made it possible for this patient to resume an active life, free of this hazard as well as the possibility of sudden death due to cardiac asystole or ventricular fibrillation. Between Dec 2, 1961, and May 1, 1965, 118 pacemakers were implanted in 91 patients at the Henry Ford Hospital. During this period, a total of 27 surgical maintenance procedures were necessary to replace failing pulse-generator components and to repair broken electrode wires. We have reviewed this experience to facilitate future management of these patients and to establish guidelines for elective replacement of the pulse-generator portion of the pacemaker prior to unexpected failure. The operative details of pacemaker implantation as used at the Henry Ford Hospital have been previously reported.1 The pacemakers used in this series of patients have


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