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July 30, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Youngest pacemaker recipient doing well

A THREE-month-old boy has received a heart pacemaker at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center, making him China's youngest pacemaker recipient.

The boy has fully recovered from the operation and his congenitally slow heartbeat has been corrected, the hospital announced yesterday.

The boy was found to have a slow heartbeat when his mother had a prenatal checkup. Before the operation his heartbeat averaged only 41 beats a minute, while the normal heartbeat for a child his age should have been around 100.

"The slow heartbeat could result in brain damage and poor organ function, as his brain and body can't get enough oxygen and blood with a such slow heartbeat," said center official Xia Lin. "He could suffer sudden death any time or die before he turned one because of organ failure."

Since the boy was too small for any pacemakers available in China, the center ordered the world's smallest pacemaker from the United States. It's the size of a one-yuan coin.


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