This article has been updated to include links to advice on pacemakers and their removal (see bottom of article)
Medtronic has manufactured a new type of pacemaker called a Micra Transcatheter Pacing System which is currently on trial in Australia, and because it is about the size of a vitamin pill and inserted directly into the heart, it is virtually undetectable.
Matthew Carlin, Principal Advisor Health Regulation, Health Risk and Regulation Unit, Environmental Health Branch, NSW Health, is reporting that NSW Health that its position on pacemaker removal remains unchanged.
Mr. Carlin advises
“After looking into the specifications of this product I can advise you of the following:
The position of NSW Health is that regardless of the technology or size of the pace maker, all devices must be removed before cremation. If for any reason this is not possible, then for health and safety concerns alternative arrangements should be made such as burial.
At this point, there is not enough information in the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System to change our policy position on this issue.
Principal Advisor Health Regulation, Health Risk and Regulation Unit
Environmental Health Branch”
A Medtronic’s flyer relating to the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, End of Service/Postmortem Considerations, is attached.
If you have any queries in relation to the removal of battery powered devices, please contact NSW Health.