Patients who received refurbished pacemakers donated from Detroit area funeral homes survived without complications from the devices, according to a case series reported by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.
The pacemakers were implanted in 12 patients at the University of Philippines- Philippine General Hospital who could not afford advanced cardiac care and were confined to their beds as they waited for a permanent pacemaker.
All donated pacemakers functioned normally at six months, and most importantly there were no device complications such as infections. The study appears online ahead of print in the Oct. 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The argument for pacemaker reuse has been debated for decades. But the idea is gaining ground as U-M cardiology experts report promising results of providing donated pacemakers to underserved nations.
"In light of the widening health care disparity seen between the industrialized world and developing nations, we feel that pacemaker reuse is an ethical obligation to address the medical needs of those who could not afford therapy otherwise," says co-author Timir Baman, M.D., cardiology fellow at the U-M Cardiovascular Center.
Based on surveys showing a majority of heart patients were interested in donating their pacemakers after death, U-M has launched Project My Heart Your Heart.
Project My Heart Your Heart is a joint collaboration between the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, Michigan funeral homes, and World Medical Relief, a Detroit-based non-profit organization that specializes in the delivery of used medical equipment.
"Ongoing research is needed to evaluate the feasibility of regional and potentially nationwide pacemaker donation programs," says co-author Kim Eagle, M.D., director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center.
In recent decades, industrialized nations have seen a drop in deaths from heart attacks and strokes, but those in low- and middle-income nations continue to experience an epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease is expected to increase 137 percent between 1990 and 2020 for those living in low- and middle- income countries, authors write. It's estimated that as many as 1 million people worldwide die annually from slow heart rates.
"Many of these countries lack the financial resources to address this epidemic of cardiovascular disease," says co-author Hakan Oral, M.D., director of electrophysiology at the U-M cardiovascular center. "As a result, resources are often directed away from high-cost treatment strategies, such as implantable cardiac rhythmn management devices."
Pacemakers and other implantable cardiac devices are implanted to regulate an irregular or slow heart beat, or act as an insurance policy by automatically shocking the heart back to a normal rhythm. They can last up to 10 years and cost $10,000 to $50,000.
Only pacemakers with 70 percent battery life were included in the study and informed consent was obtained from all patients' families in order to remove and donate the pacemakers after death. A total of 50 pacemakers were donated by funeral homes to WMR. Of them, 12 with adequate battery life were implanted in poor patients at Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
U-M is exploring partnerships with the Philippine General, Vietnam Heart Institute in Hanoi, and Komfo Medical Center in Ghana, which is in the process of developing an arrhythmia therapy program, for allocation of used pacemakers. The international hospitals have had on-site reviews for quality and clinical excellence by U-M cardiology experts.
In the next phase, the U-M Cardiovascular Center will seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to embark on a large scale clinical trial to show that pacemaker reuse is safe and effective.
Authors: Timir S. Baman, M.D.; Al Romero, M.D.; James N. Kilpatrick, M.D.; Joshua Romero, BA; David C. Lange, M.D.; Eric O. Sison, M.D.; Rogelio V. Tangco, M.D.; Nelson S. Abelardo, M.D.; George Samson, M.D.; Rita Grezlik; Edward B. Goldman, J.D.; Hakan Oral, M.D., and Kim Eagle, M.D.
Funding: Hewlett Foundation, Mardigan Foundation, U-M Cardiovascular CenterResources:
Shantell M. Kirkendoll | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology