>>NARRATOR: At just 24 millimeters, the
new pacemaker is 90% smaller than current models, about the size of just one of the
pills Mary Lou Trejo takes to help control her heart condition.>>MARY LOU TREJO: My heart does not beat regularly.
It skips beats. And sometimes it’s normal, and then all of a sudden it just goes out
of rhythm.>>NARRATOR: To better control that, Mary Lou became
one of the first patients in the U.S. to have this style of pacemaker implanted. Mary Lou
knew she needed a pacemaker, but she didn’t like the size of traditional models or the
leads that are used to connect them to the heart.>>DR. RALPH AUGOSTINI: The new device is basically
just the device. The electrodes are part of the can, and therefore it eliminates the lead.>>NARRATOR: It was Dr. Ralph Augostini who implanted
the pacemaker at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and did so without surgery.
He fed the device through an artery in Mary Lou’s leg and attached it into her heart.
And now that it’s there, the tiny high-tech pacemaker will constantly monitor Mary Lou’s
condition and will activate only when necessary to keep her heart beating normally.>>DR. JOHN HUMMEL: If it stops for a moment,
the pacemaker will kick in and keep your heart trundling right along. So with that sort of
therapy with intermittent pacing, it can last as long as 14 years.>>NARRATOR: It’s already working for Mary Lou,
who says she was more than willing to test new technology today in the hopes that it
will pay off for others tomorrow.>>TREJO: There’s a lot of heart disease in my
family that I thought, well, this is a way that I could contribute and I thought it would
be very interesting.>>NARRATOR: At Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center,
this is Clark Powell reporting.