First External Cardiac Pacemaker

June 30, 2008 – Today, the IEEE Executive Committee has approved the IEEE History Committee’s recommendation that the Toronto Section’s nomination (2006-09) be accepted as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing with the following citation:

First External Cardiac Pacemaker, 1950
“In 1950, in Room 64 of the Banting Institute at the University of Toronto, Drs. Wilfred Bigelow and John Callaghan successfully paced the heart of a, dog using an external electronic pacemaker-defibrillator having implanted, electrodes. The device was developed by Dr. John Hopps at the National Research Council of Canada. This pioneering work led to the use of cardiac pacemakers in humans and helped establish the importance of electronic devices in medicine.”

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