500th pacemaker fitted at hospital

Deborah Taylor and Charles Knaggs
Deborah Taylor and Charles Knaggs

HOSPITAL staff have fitted their 500th pacemaker.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool has seen its 500th pacemaker patient this week.

Charles Knaggs, 79, needed a pacemaker because his heart rate was too slow and he had atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes an irregular heart rate.

Consultant cardiologist, Justin Carter, said: “We’ve been carrying out the procedure at the University Hospital of Hartlepool for three years and it’s making a huge difference to heart patients.

”Using the latest type of pacemaker, weighing just a few ounces, the small electronic device was implanted under Charles’ skin. When his heart goes too slow or pauses, then the pacemaker sends an impulse to the heart to remind it to beat.

“Charles had an overnight stay in hospital and after an x-ray and a few checks to make sure everything was ok; he was able to go home.”

To mark the occasion and to celebrate with Charles, from Stockton, pacing physiologist Deborah Taylor baked a chocolate cake, iced with a picture of a pacemaker.

Charles added: “It went very well and I’m feeling fine. The celebration cake was a very nice unexpected surprise.

“The staff went out of their way to make me feel at ease and went out of their way to make sure I had the best possible care.”