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Medical team saves man with world's smallest pacemaker

Medical team saves man with world's smallest pacemaker (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local wife and mother send a big thank you Tuesday, June 21, to a medical team that helped save her husband's life.

They did so with the world's smallest pacemaker. The pacemaker, as small as a vitamin pill, and the heart and vascular team at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare said it was the most advanced technology available to help restart the heart. Krissy Richard didn't even know her husband had a heart problem until a few weeks ago at home with her children. She noticed Matt was confused and seemed disoriented.

Alarmed, Krissy made a quick trip with Matt to the hospital, "When we got there, we walked in to register and Matt collapsed right in the waiting room."

Once he arrived they couldn't really figure out what was wrong until they hooked up something to his heart to be able to see his rhythm. Sure enough, it happened again; for 22 seconds his wife said Matt's heartbeat went completely flat.

Krissy said, "It was absolutely the most terrifying thing I have ever seen."

Dr. Christian Hays discovered Matt had a serious heart rhythm problem. Traditionally he would have implanted a pacemaker under Matt's skin. It has wires that hook up to restart the heart when it stops. Instead, Dr. Hayes was one of the first in the country implanting a new pacemaker just approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It provided what's called the Micra Transcather Pacing System, or Micra TPS.

Dr. Hays said, "It's new technology that allows us to implant it directly into the heart and it grows in to the tissue in the heart and stays there."

The Micra TPS is implanted through a tiny incision in the crease of the hip. It is designed to automatically adjust the pacing of the heart, based on a patient's activity levels.

It was so simple Matt said, "I walked out of the hospital the following morning on my own and that night I actually went to my son's baseball game."

Matt told Local 12 News it was the little things right now that have the biggest meaning. Dr. Hays has now implanted four of the devices. Matt is about two weeks out, and has had no complications.

The battery in the pacemaker is expected to last about 12 years.

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