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Implantable Cardiac Pacemaker Turns 50

June 07 2010

CLARENCE, N.Y., Jun 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Greatbatch, Inc. is proud to join the medical community in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first successful implantation of the human cardiac pacemaker in the United States. The pacemaker was designed, developed and implanted by Wilson Greatbatch in conjunction with William M. Chardack, M.D. and Andrew A. Gage, M.D.

The device, implanted during surgery at Buffalo's Veteran's Affairs Hospital,extended the life of a 77 year old man for 18 months. While there were many other pacemaker concepts being developed simultaneously, the Greatbatch-Chardack pacemaker marks the first successful device implanted into a human.

After inventing the device, Wilson Greatbatch licensed the technology to Earl Bakken, the founder of Medtronic. In 1970, Mr. Greatbatch went on to start his own company to develop long-lived primary batteries to fuel the implantable pacemaker. This company is now Greatbatch, Inc.

"The roots of the innovative culture of our Company can be traced to Mr. Greatbatch who pushed the limits of science to develop the first successful implantable pacemaker," said Thomas J. Hook, president and CEO, Greatbatch, Inc. "His invention is one that decade's later is still used to save and enhance people's lives."

More than 100 thousand pacemakers are implanted each year. Today's pacemakers are much smaller and thinner in size than Mr. Greatbatch's device and offer many advanced features. These types of improvements have been made possible by many device companies including Greatbatch Medical, a Greatbatch, Inc. brand.

About Greatbatch

Greatbatch, Inc. (NYSE: GB) provides critical technologies to industries that depend on reliable, long lasting performance through its brands Greatbatch Medical and Electrochem. Greatbatch Medical develops and manufactures vital technologies used in medical devices for the cardiac rhythm management, neuromodulation, vascular access and orthopaedic markets. Electrochem is a world leader in the design and manufacture of battery and wireless sensing technology solutions for industrial applications. For additional information on Greatbatch, visit www.greatbatch.com.

SOURCE: Greatbatch, Inc.

Greatbatch, Inc.
Kathryn Tarquin, 716-759-5540
cel 716-574-5859