World’s Tiniest Pacemaker For Sam And Siblings?


NEW YORK, NY (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Bundle branch block is a congenital heart condition that causes the electrical impulses in the heart to misfire. People with the condition often need a pacemaker to keep their hearts in sync. Now, cardiologists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York are using a recently approved tiny wireless device in kids, so they don’t miss a beat.

The Anthony family loves a good adventure: sand-sledding in New Mexico or strapped into a thrill ride. They try not to let anything slow them down, not even congenital heart disease. Three of the Anthony’s four children have a condition that blocks the pathway that sends electrical impulses to the heart.

Father, Al Anthony said, “At nine years old my first son, now he’s almost 19, so now he had his second pacemaker put in.”

Five days later, 16-year-old Sam got his first pacemaker.

Sam Anthony shared, “The next day I was able to fully walk around and do everything and I felt fine.”

Two sons, two pacemakers, over five days. But for Sam, cardiologists were able to implant this tiny wireless pacemaker, approved in 2016 but used now in a handful of kids.  Barry Love M.D, a pediatric cardiologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital inserted the Micra pacemaker by threading a catheter through a vein.

Dr. Love said, “This pacemaker is entirely contained in the heart itself and because of that he’ll be able to participate in sports and activities with really minimal to no restrictions.” (Read Full Interview)

Among other things, Sam’s looking forward to getting back to the ballfield and more family vacations.

Sam’s mother, Lori Anthony, said: “We kinda don’t let it bother us. We travel a lot, and do crazy fun stuff, and try not to worry about the little stuff.”

The Anthony’s say their youngest son, who is 13, does not have the genetic heart condition, but their seven-year old daughter may have it, and may need back up “pacing” from a device in the future.


Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Robert Walko, Editor.


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BACKGROUND: Congenital heart defects happen because the heart does not develop normally while the baby is growing in the womb. Doctors often do not know why congenital heart defects occur. Researchers do know that genetics can sometimes play a role. It is common for congenital heart defects to occur because of changes in the child’s DNA. The changes in the DNA may or may not have come from the parents. Rarely, congenital heart defects are caused by particular genes that are inherited from the parents. That means a parent who has a congenital heart defect may have an increased risk of having a child with the defect. Signs and symptoms may be different for newborns and adults. They also depend on the number, type, and severity of the heart defect. Some common signs and symptoms include: Cyanosis, fatigue, heart murmurs, poor blood circulation, rapid breathing, congenital heart defects do not cause chest pain or other painful symptoms. Older children or adults may get tired easily or short of breath during physical activity.



PACEMAKER: A pacemaker is a small device with two parts, a generator and wires (leads, or electrodes), that’s placed under the skin in your chest to help control your heartbeat. Pacemakers are implanted to help control your heartbeat. They can be implanted temporarily to treat a slow heartbeat after a heart attack, surgery or overdose of medication. Pacemakers can also be implanted permanently to correct a slow heartbeat or, in some cases, to help treat heart failure. Smaller pacemakers about the size of a pill have been developed and are currently undergoing clinical trials. A new, leadless device can be implanted directly into the heart, where it emits an electrical impulse to control the heartbeat. Because a lead isn’t required, this device can minimize the risk of infection and speed recovery time.



FAMILIAL HEART BLOCK: Progressive familial heart block is a genetic condition that alters the normal beating of the heart. Heart block occurs when the electrical signaling is obstructed anywhere from the atria to the ventricles. In people with progressive familial heart block, the condition worsens over time: early in the disorder, the electrical signals are partially blocked, but the block eventually becomes complete, preventing any signals from passing through the heart. Partial heart block causes a slow or irregular heartbeat and can lead to the buildup of scar tissue in the cells that carry electrical impulses.




Tildy LaFarge, PR


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Doctor Q and A

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