Guyana records first pacemaker insertion
Guyana Chronicle
July 24, 2004

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GUYANA has recorded its first pacemaker insertion surgery and more operations are likely soon, Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy reported yesterday.

He said that Dr Mindee Flippin from the United States introduced a cardiological advancement for Guyana when he performed the first pacemaker insertion surgery Monday at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation GPHC).

The pacemaker, a small battery operated electronic device, is inserted under the skin to regularise the heart beat and keep it at an appropriate rate, therefore terminating the abnormal heart beat rate of a person.

With the life span of the battery being 10-15 years, a patient can live a productive life with just routine monitoring by the doctor.

Ramsammy said arrangements were being made with U.S.-based doctors of Church of Christ who are here, to develop a training programme with the doctors at the GPHC.

In the beginning they will visit periodically, carry out pacemaker insertion surgeries and train local doctors, he said adding that doctors at the GPHC will eventually be fully responsible for such operations.

Pacemakers will not be available until there is sustainability of this project per quarter, the minister said.

The cost of treatment outside of Guyana is quite expensive but at the GPHC it will be free for everyone, he said.