World’s Smallest Pacemaker Saves The Life Of 74-Year-Old Man At Jackson South Medical Center

First implantation of device in the southeast region, post-FDA approval

Miami, FL – Jackson South Medical Center is first in the southeast region of the United States, to implant the Micra™ AV, the world’s smallest pacemaker with atrioventricular (AV) synchrony. The new device, produced by Medtronic, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January, and extends the most advanced pacing technology – at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

The Micra™ AV, comparable to the size of a large vitamin, was implanted for the first time on Wednesday, February 12, which saved the life of a 74 year-old man from Homestead, Florida.

Eugene Gamble was home on Saturday when his wife called 911 after noticing that his speech and walking were irregular. Paramedics took Gamble to the emergency department at Jackson South. His heart rate measured 38 beats per minute, much lower than the normal resting heart rate for an adult of 60 to 100 beats per minute and he had an AV block – a type of heart block in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricles) are impaired.

The nurses notified Ivan Mendoza, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist, from the Jackson Heart Institute, who took on Gamble’s case.

“The patient came with complete heart block and loss of consciousness,” said Dr. Mendoza. “Our multidisciplinary team determined the best option for him was the newly-approved Micra™ AV.”

This is the first type of pacemaker that synchronizes upper and lower chambers in the heart without cables. This technology applies to approximately 80% of the patients, who are in need of a pacemaker and now have the advantage of lower risk of complications, infections and shorter time of hospitalization, often going home the same day. Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers, which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collarbone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called “leads.”

The successful minimally invasive procedure took less than 30 minutes. The device is inserted through a catheter and is implanted directly into the heart with small tines.

Due to having the most experience with these types of leadless devices, Jackson was the first hospital system chosen in the state to introduce this device. The experts from the Jackson Heart Institute offer comprehensive heart care to a high volume of patients in need of lifesaving treatments.

“I believe this is groundbreaking technology that revolutionizes the way we treat patients that need a pacemaker,” said Dr. Mendoza. “With our advanced technology, clinical excellence, and unmatched care, Jackson is proud to be a leader in heart care in this community,”

Gamble is thankful to the Jackson Heart Institute medical team who have saved his life in order return home to his family – his wife, his five children, 21 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Link for pictures/videos of patient’s surgery:

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