The world’s first implantable pacemaker patient, Arne Larsson, went on to receive 26 different pacemakers during his lifetime. He died in 2001, at the age of 86, outliving the inventor as well as the surgeon.

Artificial cardiac pacemaker

Illustration of implanted cardiac pacemaker showing locations of cardiac pacemaker leads

The first clinical implantation into a human of a fully implantable pacemaker was in 1958 at the Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden, using a pacemaker designed by inventor Rune Elmqvist and surgeon Åke Senning (in collaboration with Elema-Schönander AB, later Siemens-Elema AB), connected to electrodes attached to the myocardium of the heart by thoracotomy. The device failed after three hours. A second device was then implanted which lasted for two days. The world’s first implantable pacemaker patient, Arne Larsson, went on to receive 26 different pacemakers during his lifetime. He died in 2001, at the age of 86, outliving the inventor as wel… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

7 thoughts on “The world’s first implantable pacemaker patient, Arne Larsson, went on to receive 26 different pacemakers during his lifetime. He died in 2001, at the age of 86, outliving the inventor as well as the surgeon.”

  1. TamedNomad

    Everytime I’ve had surgery my surgeon has been far older than me. I assume I’d outlive everyone of them as well

  2. sumpuran

    In case anyone is curious about their ages and birthdates:

    * Patient: Arne Larsson (1915–2001, died age 86)
    * Inventor: Rune Elmqvist (1906–1996, died age 90)
    * Surgeon: Åke Senning (1915–2000, died age 84)

    All three of them died at an advanced age.

  3. cwhakes

    It makes sense that he would live a long time. The man was health-conscious enough to try an experimental treatment for something that doesn’t immediately kill you and had few enough confounding variables to be a candidate for said treatment.

  4. 4ippaJ

    Impressive! It wasn’t even his heart that finally gave out, he died of melanoma.

  5. popthatshirtoff

    I know this is off topic but everytime I think of pacemakers it reminds me of an old episode of forensics files where a kid strangled his dad to death, pacemaker brought the dad back to life. Kid killed him again, and again the pacemaker brought him back. Pretty sure he killed his dad three times before it worked.

  6. RodolfoTheWriter

    My brother has a pacemaker, we also have to thank people like Arne for his life.

  7. Dog1234cat

    He was annoyed when he would wake up from a night’s rest to find an update had occurred overnight and had to enter in his full password instead of using face recognition.

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