External Pacemakers Provide Life Saving Care

The Cardiovascular Cath Lab at Wilson Health provides high quality care and effective treatment options for patients with heart and vascular diseases. Treating over 1000 patients each year, including more than 500 with cardiac related diseases, both the Cath Lab and Critical Care units at Wilson Health use external pacemakers to provide lifesaving care.

An external pacemaker is crucial for any patient who arrives at Wilson Health whose heart is beating incorrectly or out of rhythm, often times dangerously slow. Brian Scheid, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Wilson Health, explains that “Normally the pacing of the heart comes from a signal at the top of the heart, and travels through an electrical system to the bottom, making your heart muscle squeeze in rhythm to move blood through your body.  Sometimes this electrical system fails, and needs to be reset or replaced artificially with a pacemaker device.”  The pacing can be corrected with paddles; however this is painful for the patient and is not as reliable as an external pacemaker. An external pacemaker allows for temporary cardiac pacing, a possibly lifesaving intervention, and is used on the patient until a permanent solution such as an implanted pacemaker, can be achieved.

The total cost of the new external pacemaker is $7,045. The total cost for two new external pacers was nearly $14,090. Thanks to generous community support, Wilson Health Foundation received grants from two charitable funds:  $7,000 from the Monarch Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation of Shelby County; and $1,000 from the St. Jacob Evangelical Lutheran Church Endowment Fund. These funds were used to aid in the purchase of the new external pacemakers.

“We are so thankful for the support of these local organizations,” said Karla Young, executive director of the Wilson Foundation. “It is these contributions that allow Wilson Health to continue to improve services for our community.”

For information about marking a donation to Wilson Health, call the Wilson Foundation at (937) 498-5540 or visit the Foundation’s website at www.foundation.wilsonhealth.org.