Death & pacemakers

question when we die is their anyway too donate it to someone who may not be able to afford or something 


Not quite true everywhere Swangirl

by IAN MC - 2018-12-09 14:13:31

Certainly here in the UK there is a charity PACE4LIFE which collects donated pacemakers ( not unlike organ donation ) and, providing that there is at least 70 % of remaining battery life, then sterilize them and send them to the developing world. They are then implanted into people who otherwise would die.

I did once actually meet up with the man here who started the charity as he lives relatively near to me.

I don't think you have anything similar in the US but I did once read on here that you do have a scheme where donated pacemakers are implanted into animals.


it's appalling

by jessie - 2018-12-10 01:01:20

to read that if one needs a pm or device in the usa that if not covered by insurance one is turned down to die is a bit appalling.. where i live everyone has coverage. it is not sociolistic either. we pay even us seniors from our income tax we pay every year a portion to cover healthcare.i suspect even social assistance pays now out of their monthly funds for the same coverage, of course anyone working pays.when i had my 3 lead 2nd pm installed i didn't receive a bill. i asked and it was 250,000 dollars. the only question i was asked was if i wanted to live. i respected that question as some maybe do not. i am grateful every day for my country and standard of liivng

MISINFORMED people should not comment!

by BOBTHOM - 2018-12-10 10:27:02

In the USA, if you need one you get one.  How it's paid for is another story.  If it's medically needed it gets done.

As for donation,  in the USA when you die they perform an autopsy and the device gets sent back to the manufacturer so they can review/check/confirm the device functioned as it should have.

Bob ????

by IAN MC - 2018-12-10 13:35:35

Are you suggesting that everyone who dies in the USA with a PM / ICD automatically has an autopsy ( even if they have died from natural causes ) . I would be very surprised if this is the case !

Also I am more and more confused as to whether people ever do die  in the USA purely  because of their lack of funds for medical care ?


In North Carolina that's what happens...

by BOBTHOM - 2018-12-10 14:16:21

That's the explanation I got from my cardiologist.  They autopsy to determine cause of death, then the device is sent to manufacturer to confirm it did everything it was supposed to do.

For having insurance, it's more complicated but,  retired or disabled have Medicare, the poor have Medicaid, the military has VA (tricare), government employees have insurance, most full time employees have insurance through employer, others can purchase insurance on the health care exchanges, and then there is indigent care.  So virtually everyone is insured unless they are want to save a few bucks and risk going without, and yes, that can be difficult for some folks to decide between the two.  Sometimes it's rent or health insurance, but there are programs available in most of those instances as well.

There are some procedures that are restricted as they are everywhere, for example heart transplant.  I've already been told I won't qualify.  The reality is, in rough estimated numbers, we do 50,000 transplants a year, there are over 500,000 on the waiting list.  They weigh a number of factors and give the transplants to those who have best chance for longest survival, who also meet the biological matching criteria.

Just clarifying my points.  

Lack of access to healthcare in the US

by ar_vin - 2018-12-10 14:39:08

(Sorry for this thread drift - I have no direct knowledge of pacemakers at death but I do understand a little of lack of access in the US).

It might be true that anyone who shows up at a hospital or doctor's office with a health issue will possibly get treated BUT there are many many others who might have serious medical issues that have NO health insurance. These are the "working poor" - those that fall through the cracks - they make too much money to qualify for (the increasingly curtailed) Medicaid programs but can't afford to buy health insurance. Often it's a choice between putting food on the table and paying for a roof over their heads and paying for health insurance. This is increasingly true in the higher cost areas with skyrocketing rents.

Many of these people don't even show up for care for even chronic health conditions like diabetes which can be fatal if left untreated over time.

We can live in denial - continuing to believe that these aren't real problems in this great land of ours but that that does not change the reality for many of the working uninsured.


Non profit organizations....

by BOBTHOM - 2018-12-10 16:41:01

There are many programs both government and private.  St. Judes Childrens Hospital is an example.  They treat all children with no charge to anyone!  It can be hard to find where to get help, but there are alot of programs out there.

The biggest problem is not the cost of health insurance but the cost of health care itself.  That is driven by 2 forms of insurance, the health insurance providers and the malpractice insurance companies.  There needs to be tort reform (limit how much you can sue a doctor for) that will reduce the malpractice insurance cost which is a substantial amount of all medical practice costs.  Then the waste in health care, they keep prescribing me diuretics because with heart failure you retain fluids.  I don't because of my specific issues but they keep trying to feed them to me.  I keep saying no but others who get automatic fulfillment may just get them and throw them out.  They also insist that I need cholesterol meds, but I don't, and again, I keep saying no.  And how many follow up visits do you really need?  I had stitches once, had them put in, had them taken out, then was scheduled for another visit, why?  I'm smart enough to know if it's getting infected and would then call, but others would just schedule and go even if there are no issues.   Those are just some of the issues as I see it.  Just my 2 cents.

Denial, denial, denial

by ar_vin - 2018-12-10 17:11:03

Is the new American way it appears.....

We can discuss ad nauseum the root causes of high costs but the fact remains that significant numbers of the US population won't even go see a doctor as they fear the bills. That is the reality......



good lord

by ROBO Pop - 2018-12-10 19:21:29

The answer to your question, since you are an American, is that it is illegal to reuse a pacemaker or defibrillator including CRT's in a human being in the United states.

They are supposed to extract devices on death and return them to the original manufacturer for analysis and disposal

As for Bobthom's comment that misinformed people should not comment, I would agree 100% and he above all should refrain since the majority of his comments are bull sh*t.

Frankly the quality and accuracy of comments on this site have hit the toilet bowl the past few years. Some seem bent on perpetuating false information much like the US President.


Robo Pop, seriously??? Majority is bs??

by BOBTHOM - 2018-12-14 00:37:54

So lets see,  PM's are removed and returned to manufacturer.  Accute need is treated.  Majority of Americans are covered by health insurance through employer, government program etc.  Some people may have to chose between rent or health insurance.  Insurance companies drive up healthcare costs.  There are programs such as St Judes.  What majority of those statements do you consider BS?  

You know you're wired when...

The dog’s invisible fence prevents you from leaving the backyard.

Member Quotes

I can't wait to give my son a run for his money again in the park again.