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Toowoomba Hospital now performing lifesaving pacemaker implantation

3 December 2019

Dr Caleb Mengel sitting with recovering patient Christine Cutts at Toowoomba Hospital.

Toowoomba Hospital is now performing lifesaving pacemaker implantation with great success.

A pacemaker is a small device inserted into the chest to keep the heart beating when it would otherwise stop. The device uses an electrical pulse to prompt the heart to beat.

Darling Downs Health Cardiologist Dr Caleb Mengel said patients who are passing out or collapsing from missing heart beats need a pacemaker implanted to save their life.

“The cardiac team at Toowoomba Hospital met in February to discuss how we could start to offer pacemaker implantation,” Dr Mengel said.

“We worked together to organise the resources and staffing required to offer this to current inpatients and were able to commence pacemaker implantations in late October.

“Pacemaker implantation has great benefits for the patients as we can get them back home and follow them up in their local community.

“Prior to Toowoomba being able to perform pacemaker implantation, patients needed to wait in hospital for transfer to Brisbane and be taken away from their local community.

“We are really excited about being able to offer pacemaker insertion locally and developing and progressing cardiology services at Toowoomba Hospital.”

Christine Cutts, the second patient to undergo pacemaker implantation, said it is wonderful not to need to travel to Brisbane.

“Myself and my family live in Kingaroy, and Brisbane is a long way for us to travel for medical reasons,” Ms Cutts said.
“Toowoomba Hospital offering pacemaker implantation is great not only for Toowoomba, but for country people like myself.

“Toowoomba Hospital has been great. The implantation took just over an hour and the staff have been absolutely wonderful and have gone out of their way to help me.”

Pacemaker implantation at Toowoomba Hospital is currently only available to current inpatients within the Darling Downs Health region.

Last updated: 3 December 2019