Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and University of Southern California have reported on a tiny new pacemaker that can be implanted into a fetus when it is in the womb.
The chances of side effects due to externally placed devices paves way for the newly developed in utero device. Pacemakers can be implanted after birth when a fetus has a complete heart block. Sometimes this can be too late and involves further waiting for the child to reach a safe weight for the procedure.
If the pacemakers are to be implanted before delivery the generator unit has to remain outside the child's body that can be easily dislodged or infected creating its own problems due to the freely running leads.
The researchers have conducted pre-clinical testing of the device and believe it is ready for use in human trials. The FDA certified the pacemaker as a Humanitarian Use Device and initial implantations are expected in the near future.