Medical Devices

In 1889 John Alexander MacWilliams was able to show by experiment that the application of a small electrical jolt to a small part of the heart caused ventricular contraction, and that by spacing these jolts he was able to maintain a heart rhythm of 60-70bmp. It was from this simple discovery that led John Hopps to develop the first external pacemaker. These devices were quite substantial in size and need to be wheeled around with the patient. Since the device was also plugged into the mains socket, they weren’t very practical.

In 1958 the first implantable pacemaker was developed, and was inserted into Arne Larsson. In fact Arne was given a total of 26 of these implantable devices throughout his life, and in fact outlived both the inventor (Rune Elmqvist) and the surgeon (Ake Senning) until he died in 2001 at the age of 86.
Modern medical devices for treating cardiac conditions range from Artificial Cardiac Pacemakers, through to Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD), Stents and Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy Defibrillators (CRT-D). Modern devices are quite complex and both provide therapy and remote monitoring functionality.
Your cardiac team will work with you to help choose the right device to treat your conditions.

Many survivors receive an ICD soon after the SCA and that in itself can cause a whole host of new feelings and emotions.

Become educated about your device, and make sure your family does too. You may not be prepared for the shock it may give, but that shock could save your life.

Medical Device Safety

Many devices originate from the USA and as such are covered by the US Food and Drink administration and amongst the many things they do is produce a list of any issues currently highlighted with implantable devices this includes any recalls.  You can see and subscribe to the the list at the US FDA medical device safety webpage.


Click to access living-with-an-icd.pdf



Why some don’t have an ICD or Pacemaker

Holter monitor

BHF Implatation Gude

Boston Scientific

Evolution of heart related medical devices

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