Pacemakers Found Susceptible to Electromagnetic Field

March 20, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​Researchers recommend individuals with pacemakers adjust their settings to a lower sensitivity, use bipolar sensing, and keep at a distance from electromagnetic (EM) field forces. This is needed to avoid interference that could result in ventricular over-sensing, which could can cause pacing inhibition and symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, or syncope in pacemaker-dependent patients, according to a study published in the February 28, 2017, issue of Circulation. The study consisted of data from 119 individuals whose pacemakers were tested under worst-case scenarios such as whole-body exposure, maximal inspiration, and sustained pacing. During the study, ventricular electromagnetic interference occurred in 32.4% and 3.6% of devices that were set at maximum and nominal sensitivity, respectively.

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