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Miniature external cardiac pacemaker, Welwyn Garden City, England, 1979

Developed in the 1960s, cardiac pacemakers give out regulated electrical impulses. These stimulate the contraction of the heart muscles to provide sufficient rate of heartbeat. This miniature external cardiac pacemaker created this electronic impulse within the heart. It is attached to a catheter. The catheter is inserted into the arm vein and led into the heart. The generator can be strapped to the patient’s wrist. It was adjustable for sensitivity and output. This type EV4542 pacemaker generator was made by Devices Limited in England. Pacemakers are now often implanted into the chests of patients rather than carried externally.

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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: transistor

An electrical device used to amplify electrical signals.

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.