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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Scottish first for digital pacemaker
The digital pacemaker is able to hold much more information
An 82-year-old retired baker has become the first person in Scotland to be fitted with a digital heart pacemaker.

The digital device was implanted in James Turnbull at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

The technology was supplied by Vitatron, which produced the world's first digital pacemaker.

Consultant physician Dr Finlay Kerr, who fitted the pacemaker, said: "This is a tremendous development in cardiac technology.

"It is a very quick and relatively simple procedure to fit and the benefits to the patient are quite significant."

The Vitatron C-series pacemaker was fitted under local anaesthetic in James Turnbull, from Tain, Easter Ross, who said: "I feel very lucky to have been seen so quickly.

"I was very surprised to have a local anaesthetic and could see what was happening on a screen, with everything being explained to me."

'Quality of life'

He added: "It is very nice to be the first person in Scotland with this new pacemaker.

"It is something which I assume normally happens in the big teaching hospitals so it is a feather in the cap for Raigmore."

Digital pacemaker
The Vitatron digital pacemaker is one of the fastest in the world
Like standard pacemakers, the Vitatron C-series stimulates a heartbeat if the patient's heart slows down dangerously or stops.

The digital device is also able to alert doctors if a patient's condition indicates cause for concern.

Fiona Dawson, a senior technician, added: "The digital pacemaker is able to hold much more information and has more diagnostics built in to it.

"When a patient returns for their regular checks, It can be read using a programmer.

"This allows us to tailor the pacemaker to suit the individual patient's needs."

The pacemaker also analyses rhythm disorders and suggests changes in programming, to help improve the quality of life for patients.

Mr Turnbull is the third person in the UK to have received a digital pacemaker.

Two patients in Liverpool underwent a similar procedure in June.

UK first for digital pacemaker
01 Jun 03  |  Merseyside


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