MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Pacemakers taken from funeral homes in the U.S. have been sent to India and successfully implanted in new patients thanks to researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Their research proved that used pacemakers can be refurbished and turned over to patients who could not afford a new device.
“Like anything else, devices are also recyclable. There is no reason why they can’t be reused," investigator Dr. Bharat Kantharia told TheHeart.org. "In India, there are people dying because of a lack of resources."
Of the 53 Indian patients implanted with recycled devices none experienced any significant problems, such as infection or device failure, after an average of nearly two years.
The research is the largest of its kind using pacemakers donated solely from U.S. funeral homes, according to TheHeart.org.
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