Children's Healthcare of Atlanta cardiologists implant pacemaker into premature baby

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Heart Center successfully inserted a pacemaker into a premature baby.

The baby was born at 34 weeks and weighed just over 4 pounds, according to a Feb. 1 hospital news release. The device, a Medtronic pediatric Implantable Pulse Generator, is not FDA approved for patients that small. However, the team was able to secure approval from the institutional review board and then emergency use authorization from the FDA. It is one of only a handfuls of such implant procedures worldwide, according to the release.

"Not only was this an innovative procedure, but it also was a remarkable display of teamwork," Robert Whitehill, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Heart Center, said in the release. "Through combined efforts of the cardiac intensive care unit, the cardiothoracic surgery program and the electrophysiology department, we were able to quickly help a patient in need so that he could go home safely with his family only two weeks after being born."

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