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French Hospital Medical Center First in San Luis Obispo County to Implant World’s Smallest Leadless Pacemaker


Miniaturized Heart Device Provides Patients with the Most Advanced Cardiac Technology Available

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – January 3, 2018 – The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center at French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC), a Dignity Health hospital, today announced the most recent medical advancement to its award-winning cardiac program.  French’s Cardiac Electrophysiology program is the first in San Luis Obispo County to implement the device.

The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center now offers the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is a new type of heart device, approved for Medicare reimbursement. It provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology available, at only one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure was recently performed at French Hospital by cardiac electrophysiologist, Chris Porterfield, M.D.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart may not be able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

“French Hospital’s Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center is thrilled to be able to offer the most advanced leadless pacing technology available to our cardiac patients,” says French Hospital Medical Center President & CEO, Alan Iftiniuk. “This outstanding advancement adds to the electrophysiology capabilities at our facility, alleviating the need to travel for to quality heart care.”

For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.

French Hospital’s cardiac heart program, rated nationally by Healthgrades as a Five-Star Recipient for Pacemaker Procedures for five consecutive years. The cardiac center is staffed by a team of heart care specialists dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart disease. The ongoing advancements to Marian’s technology will allow patients to receive the most unconventional cardiac treatments and devices available.

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About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation and one of the Top 50 Cardiac Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters.  The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology on the Central Coast. The hospital’s current modernization and redesign project is an example of the commitment to meet the growing needs of the community with lifesaving advancements in medicine coupled with excellent, compassionate care. The hospital is home to the unique Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. 

French is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA. Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.  Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.

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