An eastern Iowa woman is the first person in the world to receive a new type of heart pacemaker. It’s called a bi-ventricular pacing defibrillator. The recipient is 64-year-old Marie German, a Davenport accountant who’s had heart trouble for a decade. Her cardiologist, Dr. Michael Guidici of Davenport’s Genesis Medical Center, says it’s a very advanced gadget.The device is about the size of three packs of gum and was inserted under German’s skin just below the right shoulder blade in early March. When her heart starts to beat out of sync, Dr. Guidici says the device sends a small electric shock that restores it to the proper rhythm. Guidici says German was able to leave the hospital the same day as the surgery and is doing fine — in fact she plans to go out of the country for a wedding next week. He says this is the fourth generation of this sort of pacemaker. The previous three generations shocked both lower walls of the heart simultaneously but this new version gives the left side a slight head-start, which makes a big difference.Dr. Guidici says it can dramatically improve cardiac performance, up to one-hundred percent, and even better. The defibrillator is being studied in several locations nationwide, including in Davenport and at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, but German is the first recipient.
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