Pacemaker, internal
A device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the heart rhythm or to reproduce that rhythm. An internal pacemaker is one in which the electrodes into the heart, the electronic circuitry and the power supply are implanted (internally) within the body. Although there are different types of pacemakers, all are designed to treat bradycardia, a heart rate that is too slow). Pacemakers may function continuously and stimulate the heart at a fixed rate or at an increased rate during exercise. A pacemaker can also be programmed to detect too long a pause between heartbeats and then stimulate the heart. History: The internal pacemaker was invented by Wilson Greatbatch in 1958. While building an oscillator to record heart sounds, he installed a resistor with the wrong resistance in the unit. It began to give off a steady electrical pulse. Greatbatch realized that the device could be used to regulate the heart and hand-crafted the world's first implantable pacemaker. Greatbatch later invented the corrosion-free lithium battery to power the pacemaker.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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