Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pacemaker Battery Life Leads to Infection Risks

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pacemaker Battery Life Leads to Infection Risks

Article excerpt

THOUSANDS of patients with pacemakers are being put at risk of serious infection owing to a scandal which means the batteries run out, experts have said.

Cardiologists have spoken out over pacemakers and other batteryoperated heart devices, saying there is no incentive for firms to produce ones with a longer battery life.

As a result, patients are forced back into hospital for procedures to have the batteries replaced, putting them at risk of serious and lifethreatening infection, they said. Pacemaker implantation is one of the most common heart surgeries in the UK, with most pacemaker batteries lasting for six to 10 years.

Changing the batteries involves replacing the pacemaker box with a new unit - usually carried out under local anaesthetic via a cut to the skin.

In an article for the British Medical Journal, John Dean, consultant cardiologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and Neil Sulke, consultant cardiologist at Eastbourne Hospital, said much more needs to be done to maximise the longevity of existing devices. …

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