Pacemaker celebrates silver anniversary
The Toronto Hospital Pacemaker Club celebrated its 25th anniversary yesterday, marking a quarter century of extended and enriched lives through this wonderful piece of technology. In attendance at a special event at the hospital were Dr. Bill Bigelow, who invented the cardiac pacemaker at The Toronto Hospital in 1951, and Dr. Edward Noble, a cardiologist and a founding member of the club.
When the heart’s own bioelectrical triggering system ceases to work properly, a pacemaker is often the solution. The pacemaker has two parts — a battery-powered generator and the wires that connect it to the heart. The silver-dollar-size generator, which has an effective life of seven to 12 years, is implanted just beneath the skin below the collarbone. The leads are threaded into position through veins leading back to the heart. The entire implantation procedure requires only a local anesthetic, and takes about an hour.