15-minute-old newborn gets pacemaker for heart

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The name Jaya in Hindi means victorious. And Jaya Maharaj was just that, as she became one of the smallest-ever recipients of a pacemaker when she was 15 minutes old.

Doctors at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital determined the girl born nine weeks premature had only hours to live if they did not operate. Stanford announced details of the operation this week.

Jaya was born with a heart rate of 45 beats per minute. A health newborn heartbeat is 120 to 150 beats per minute.

Dr. Katsuhide Maeda stitched the pacemaker’s electrical leads to 3.5-pound Jaya’s walnut-sized heart. He says she would otherwise have died.

Other doctors say the surgery was one of the most impressive of its kind and could lead more hospitals to attempt the procedure.