Tuesday, April 28, 2009

17 Pacemakers

Pretty impressive:
The 17th was implanted March 11 at the Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center at the Saint Barnabas Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

In some ways, Concepcion said he viewed himself as guinea pig growing up, when electrical wires in his chest malfunctioned or battery cells became weak and run down. He was in and out of the hospital every two years, sometimes more frequently, getting outfitted for pacemakers since he was 2 years old.

In the beginning, they weren't built to last long, especially for someone as young as Concepcion. He likes to think he burned them out as a kid, but Concepcion was learning something even more valuable. Each time he was hospitalized in Newark, Concepcion gradually became a part of history for having grown up with the development and evolution of the device.
Too bad the picture accompanying the article actually shows him holding biventricular defibrillator, rather than a pacemaker as labeled. His chest xray (seen in the article), although tough to see, shows one left ventricular lead, one right ventricular defibrillator leads, three right ventricular pacing leads and two atrial leads, one of which that has been partially withdrawn to the junction of the right subclavian/superior vena cava junction.

His film reminds me of a similar chest x-ray from a former patient who quietly called himself "The Junkyard Dog." Fortunately for this patient, no one will ever know what's inside him - at least until they see his xray...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The last pacemaker to be removed from his chest, Number 16, is a constant reminder. He keeps it in his home in Ocean Grove and it still beeps about three times a day for nearly 10 seconds each time."

......looks like someone forgot to turn off the "Patient Alert" tones!