Dameron Hospital | Health Outlook | Spring 2020

World’s smallest pacemaker — the new Micra AV — offers more people a better life down through the heart to the AV node, a cluster of specialized cells that is located in the center of the heart between the atria and the ventricles. The AV node is sometimes referred to as an electrical relay station, because its function is to slow the electrical current before it passes to the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). From the AV node, the electrical current travels to the ventricles along special fibers embedded in the heart walls. When the current arrives in the ventricles, they contract and pump blood out to the body. In people with heart block, also called AV block, the electrical signal that controls the heartbeat is partially Helping hearts stay in rhythm PACEMAKERS help restore the heart’s rhythm by sending electrical signals to the heart to regulate the heart rate. Even though more than a million pacemakers are implanted worldwide each year, traditional pacing technology still carries a high rate of complications. This is largely due to the leads, or wires, that have to thread through the blood vessels to connect to the heart. To minimize problems associated with conventional pacemakers, Dameron has been offering a new pacemaker technology called the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, which is used for specific types of irregular heartbeat conditions. The latest and smallest Recently, Dameron was one of the first hospitals in the area to offer the latest version of the Micra device. The Micra AV is the world’s smallest pacemaker with atrioventricular (AV) synchronization. This new device significantly expands the number of candidates for leadless (wireless) pacing technology, which offers a host of potential benefits for patients. Currents of the heart The heartbeat is created by an electrical signal that starts in the heart’s upper right chamber (right atrium). The electrical signal moves 4  Health Outlook • Spring 2020 CARDIOLOGY