102-year-old woman implanted with pacemaker in India

Making her the oldest woman to have successfully undergone the surgery in the private sector, 102-year-old Maya Devi from Panipat was implanted with a pacemaker at the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in the city.

The operation has given a new lease of life to the patient, who was brought to the hospital following a stroke and having suddenly collapsed at home.

Aparna Jaswal, senior consultant in the Department of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology at the hospital, who led a team of cardiologist and anaesthetists to perform the surgery in a record time of less than 20 minutes last week, said: “In the previous two cases, pacemakers were implanted in 105-year-old men at PGIMER Chandigarh and Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow.”

“This is the first pacemaker implant on a 102-year-old patient by a private hospital and the country’s third reported case of pacemaker implant in a over 100-year-old patient,” Dr. Jaswal added.

She said Ms. Devi was brought to the hospital with a pulse rate of just 30. The normal pulse rate is 65-80 beats per minute.

“She was rushed to the emergency section at the institute. The surgery involved inserting passive leads into the heart through a blood vessel running under the collarbone,” noted a release issued by the hospital.

Explaining details of the procedure, Dr. Jaswal said: “Given the patient’s age, we spent little time preparing for the surgery to ensure that the time on the operation table was as less as possible. This helped reduce any complications or infections during or post-surgery. Additional care was also taken in choosing the hardware so that the patient could withstand the surgery. We put in passive leads and implanted an MRI-compatible pacemaker for any further medical interventions that may be required.”

“What helped immensely was the patient’s simple and healthy lifestyle. She does not suffer from co-morbid conditions, diabetes or hypertension, making it very rare phenomena for her age. She is ready to be discharged and can resume her day-to-day life soon.”

The senior anaesthesiologist on the case, Riaz Ahmad Malik, explained that extra care had to be taken due to the patient’s age. “Often, patients are unable to withstand the effect of anaesthesia, leading to multiple organ failure,” noted Dr. Malik.

Ms. Devi’s great-great-grandson Sazal Dua said: “We are very thankful to the doctors at the institute for saving my great-great-grandmother’s life. We are fortunate to have a her in the family and blessed with her presence.”

Ms. Devi has three sons, 11 grand-children and 13 great-grand-children.

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