Patients with heart pacemakers, electronic implants and metal splinters
External appliances, within or outside the hospital/clinic environment, may interfere with the function of pacemakers which are being implanted all around the world in current medical practice. The patient and the doctor who is responsible for follow-up of the pacing systems may be confronted with some specific problems regarding the various types of electromagnetic interference (EMI). To avoid these unwanted EMI effects Bicom therapists must be aware of this potential problem and need to take some precautions, including asking if a patient has a PM prior to starting a therapy. There are many sources of EMI interacting with pacemakers. Magnetic resonance imaging creates a real problem and should be avoided in pacemaker patients. Cellular phones might be responsible for EMI when they were held on the same side with the pacemaker. Otherwise they don’t cause any specific type of interaction with pacemakers. Sale security systems are not a problem if one walks through it without lingering in or near it. Patients having unipolar pacemaker systems are prone to develop EMI because of pectoral muscle artifacts during vigorous active physical exercise.
Bicom therapists can treat a patient with a pacemaker but the following precautions should be followed:
- No part of a pacemaker system can be exposed to the magnetic field of a magnetic articulated or magnetic depth probe. The distance to parts of a pacemaker, electronic implants or metal splinters should be 50 cm. If you have any questions please contact the manufacturer of your pacemaker. The magnetic field is a homogeneous static field with a field strength of 2000 Gauss for the magnetic depth probe and 3700 Gauss for the magnetic articulated probe.
- Always place input and output electrodes a slight distance from the implant.