Have a heart: Donate your pacemaker

Scientific American, October 22, 2010

Pacemakers are expensive. Though some pacemaker manufacturers have dropped the price down to $800 in poorer countries, that’s still out of reach for many. One to two million people die each year because they don’t have access to this life-saving technology.

So researchers at the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center have investigated pacemaker recycling—harvesting working pacemakers from the recently deceased. According to a position paper in the journal

Circulation

, 84 percent of heart patients said they’d be willing to give away their pacemakers after they, well, no longer need them.

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