The device which is
slightly larger than a nine-volt battery was donated by
Medtronic of Minneapolis Minnesota. The
defibrillator is placed just under the skin of the chest wall and attaches to a thin cable called a lead which is implanted in the
heart muscle. The lead senses when the heart rate becomes too high and the
device attempts to pace the heart to a normal rate. If it cannot set a
normal rate, it will then deliver a shock to the heart which allows for the
normal heart rhythm to take over.
which took place on May 1, 2003, lasted
approximately four hours. Digital fluoroscopy, which provides a real time
x-ray image, was used to ensure proper placement of the device. Although several pacemakers which speed up a slow
heart, have been placed in patients at WSU, Honus is the first patient at WSU
to receive a defibrillator. The device can help Honus live a more active life.
As of Monday morning, May
5, Honus is stable and recovering very well. He has been up and walking since
the day of surgery. He is scheduled to go home later this week.