15-Minute-Old Newborn Gets A Pacemaker
    By Hank Campbell | February 15th 2012 09:29 PM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    You read that right.  Not 15 months old.  15 minutes.

    A team of doctors at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital determined the girl, diagnosed in the womb with a severe heart ailment, who was born nine weeks premature had only hours to live if they did not perform the surgery. Baby Jaya entered the world with a heart rate of 45 beats per minute. A healthy newborn heartbeat is 120 to 150 beats per minute.

    The delivery of the 3.5-pound baby was planned so that her heart would not fail in the womb but her organs would be developed.  The delivery went smoothly but Jaya's heart was beating so slowly that surgeon Dr. Katsuhide Maeda decided to open her chest immediately to perform the operation.

    Typically in such cases, a surgeon would connect wires attached to a pacemaker outside the body then perform a second surgery weeks later to install a permanent device. Maeda decided to tackle the more difficult challenge of inserting the permanent pacemaker immediately to avoid the second surgery. The whole process took about an hour.

    The current pacemaker should last Jaya about 10 years.


    Surgeons place pacemaker in 15-minute-old newborn by Marcus Wohlsen, Atlanta-Journal Constitution