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iPods and similar devices found not to affect pacemaker function
Date:3/28/2008

is a computerized device used by physicians to check and recalibrate the pacemaker/ICD patients do not carry it.) This interference, picked up in 29 of 204 tests, went away when the digital player was moved six inches or more from the device, and did not compromise device function. The larger digital players (Zune and Apple Video) caused more interference with telemetry than the small players.

Patients should not use digital music players while the doctor is trying to reprogram their device, Webster and the electrophysiology team conclude. If the iPod is right in the field, the programmer might not be able to communicate with the pacemaker or ICD effectively, Webster says.

The findings of interference with the pacemaker itself, reported last May, are published and updated in the same issue of Heart Rhythm. The editorial discusses possible reasons for the discrepancy between the two studies, which mainly relate to the testing methods and interpretation of the pacemaker recordings. Importantly, the music players did not stop pacemakers from pacing (regulating the heartbeat) in either the Childrens study or the previously reported study, though the previous study did find interference with pacemaker sensing.

Berul and colleagues are reassured by their own findings, but acknowledge that their testing was only short-term. We cant conclude that its completely safe to have an iPod right on top of the device for hours at a time, Berul says. Thats why we suggest the precaution of keeping it at least six inches away.


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Contact: Keri Stedman
keri.stedman@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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