Document 2774 among the thousands in the bankruptcy case of Philadelphia’s historic Hahnemann University Hospital laid out a curious problem. How should the hospital manage its only patient still implanted with a plutonium-powered pacemaker?
The woman, whose identity hasn’t been revealed, received the device in 1975, back when she was 23 years old and pacemakers powered by the plutonium-238 isotope weren’t uncommon. Nowadays, lithium-battery-powered devices are the norm.
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