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UH Patient Receives Area’s First Wireless Pacemaker August 21, 2009

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Rebecca Sylvester at 706/828-2394.

University Hospital patient receives the area’s first wireless pacemaker

August 21, 2009 (AUGUSTA, GA) – The CSRA’s first wireless pacemaker was implanted in an 83-year-old Beech Island, S.C. woman on Friday, Aug. 21 at University Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute.

The Accent™ RF pacemaker was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on July 21, and only a handful of the devices have been implanted in patients nationwide in the past month, according to St. Jude Medical, the manufacturer.

The Accent™ RF pacemaker is the first pacemaker with automatic test results and complete diagnostics that can be accessed via wireless communication in a clinic or from the patient’s home.

The Augusta area’s first recipient is Dorothy M. Tharpe. The Accent™ RF device replaced another pacemaker Mrs. Tharpe had implanted for five years.

The new device will allow her cardiologist to remotely monitor her heart rhythms via the internet without her having to schedule an office visit. It can also send out an alert should an irregular rhythm occur. “It really makes it easier on the patient,” said cardiologist Peter J. Bigham, M.D., who preformed the implant procedure Friday in the Heart & Vascular Institute interventional suites.

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