Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Checkup: can wireless or other devices harm a heart patient with a pacemaker or defibrillator? Probably not -- but it is life and death
A new laptop from Toshiba warns users to “Turn off your Product and.or all wireless functionalities where electronic devices are regulated or controlled or when near a person with any medical electric devices.”
But a recent page the website from the American Heart Association points to very little risk from most home electronics for patients with pacemakers (or implantable defribrillators), which seem to become more common. That page is here.
Cell phones pose no risk now but there is concern that use of other frequencies could pose a risk in the future. Some authorities recommend keeping cell phones at least ten inches away from the device. MP3 headphones might pose some risk in some cases.
My own mother (who passed at the end of 2010) never had a pacemaker, but she did have aortic stenosis and congestive heart failure; she survived eleven years after a coronary bypass at age 85 and as beginning to develop some dementia (especially short term memory), but milder than many people.
There never was any cross interference between my own electronics and any devices she did have, like oxygen delivery and baby monitor.