South Bend Hospital installs new MRI-safe pacemaker in patient - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Hospital installs new MRI-safe pacemaker in patient

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Memorial Hospital put in one of the first MRI compatible pacemakers in the region Thursday.

The first was put in at the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday.  Before, if someone had a pacemaker put in, they couldn't be exposed to the magnetic field of an MRI.

Cardiologist Dr. Raman Mitra says the field can heat the wire to the point that it can actually cauterize heart tissue.  The new pacemaker doesn't heat up when exposed to magnetic fields.

Dr. Mitra says that the new pacemaker is especially useful for patients with a high likelihood of needing orthopedic procedures, like hip replacements, sometime in the future.  This is because those procedures require some form of imaging, and MRI's give a clearer picture when compared to CAT scans and X-Rays.

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