First Nuclear Pacemaker Implant Operation Performed in Israel

The first nuclear pacemaker implant operation in Israel was performed today at the Beilinson Hospital by a team of surgeons led by Prof. Maurice Levy, the surgeon who performed the first heart transplant operation in Israel.

The pacemaker was implanted in the body of a 45-year-old man whose name was with-held. A spokesman for the U.S.-based Meditronic Co. which produces the device said that the lifetime of such a pacemaker is more than 10 years compared to 2-3 years for a conventional pacemaker. Previous pacemaker implants in Israel have been mainly in older patients. Today’s implant was the first in a relatively young patient.

Dr. Tuvia Schlesinger of the Safety and Radiation Department of the Israeli Nuclear Energy Commission said that the bearer of a nuclear pacemaker is safe from radioactive radiation because the alpha particles that emerge from the plutonium are absorbed in the solid stainless steel outer envelope.

Housing Minister Zeev Sharef gave the Knesset a time table for easing Israel’s housing shortage for the needy. He said the housing problems of young married couples would be solved by 1976 and that by March, 1974 only some 4000 families would still be living four or more to a room.

Reminder: There will be no Bulletin May 28.

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