Medicine: Electrifying the Heart

After the heart has been opened to close holes between its chambers, with aid from a heart-lung machine, it can be helped to settle down to a steady, normal rhythm by leaving anelectrode attached to the heart muscle itself for days or even weeks. So reported Minneapolis' famed Surgeon C. Walton Lillehei to the New York Heart Association last week.

"Complete heart block," a disruption of the electrical impulses flowing over the heart, is a danger for 10% to 25% of patients, although the operation itself may have been successful. Pacemakers working through electrodes...

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