Weird News

Recycled pacemakers?  From Dr. Wes:

Going Green With Pacemakers

… and considering their re-use:

Patients who received refurbished pacemakers donated from Detroit area funeral homes survived without complications from the devices, according to a case series reported by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center…

Why does this strike me as so strange? 

When my dad died, we had him embalmed so that family members who needed to arrange international flights could get here for a viewing.  Since he was ultimately cremated, we didn’t really want to purchase a coffin that was only needed for a couple hours.  Unfortunately, there is a law stating that it is illegal to re-use coffins.  They can’t be rented for situations such as this.  We had to buy one and then have it cremated with the body.

At the time, my brothers and I were looking at each other saying, What?  What possible reason could there be? Why can’t a coffin be re-used?  It’s not like the body is going to catch some horrible disease now.  He’s already dead; what else can go wrong?!

So this latest news strikes me as more than a little bit odd.  cadavers must be protected from other dead bodies, but it’s okay to removed medical devices from a dead body and place them in a live one.

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One thought on “Weird News

  1. Hmmm.. it seems a bit odd to me, too. And also, at least with defibrillators, the technology is always changing. Often when it’s time to get a new one (once the battery runs down after 7-10 years), the next one implanted is smaller, more accurate, or otherwise different. I think if I was getting a pacemaker for the first time, I’d want to make sure I had the latest and best one available.

    On the other hand, I’m sure the doctors implanted re-used pacemakers would be careful to ensure they were the right “fit” for the new patients. Interesting topic!

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