Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pacemakers and electronic devices (microwaves, etc.)

Sometimes heart patients, especially elderly patients, do receive pacemakers. In less common cases, even young people get them (as in a Sanjay Gupta CNN report). The question that may come up, even for other household members, is do electronic devices, especially microwaves, jeopardize the operation of the pacemaker?

In general the reassuring answer is no, they do not. Modern pacemakers are well shielded. Patients should be careful about some specific situations: working on automobile ignition systems, welding systems, being very near high tension power lines, and the like.

The American Heart Association has a reference here.

The Arrhythmia Association has a link here.

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