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Cardiac pacemaker, Birmingham, England, 1960-1970

Before implantable pacemakers were developed that contained batteries, attempts were made to power them from outside the chest. This induction-type cardiac pacemaker has a power unit and two induction coils. The battery and the coil are carried by the patient. It was made by Joseph Lucas of Birmingham, an engineering company with Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The rate of electrical output was increased or decreased using a simple adjustable switch. One million people worldwide are now fitted with pacemakers.

Object number:

A600973

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Glossary:

Glossary: pacemaker

An abbreviation for ‘cardiac pacemaker’. It is a small device implanted in the heart that consists of electrodes. The electrodes emit electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart.

Glossary: cardiac pacemaker

Refers to the cells which emit impulses that control the contractions of the heart, regulating its beat. Can also refer to devices used to create these impulses artificially, if the heart’s ability to do so has been damaged.