Feature: CLINICAL ROUNDS: NEWS, UPDATES, RESEARCH: PACEMAKER FUNCTION
Listening to an iPod placed in a pocket over an implanted pacemaker may be hazardous. Researchers held an iPod within 2 inches of implanted pacemakers in 83 patients for 5 to 10 seconds. They discovered telemetry interference in 29% of patients and oversensing in 20%. Interference sometimes occurred when the iPod was as far as 18 inches away from the chest. In one patient, the pacemaker stopped working.
Jay Thaker, a high-school senior, worked with physicians from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University on the research, which was presented at a meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver, Colo., in May. Although pacemaker patients aren't typical iPod users, Thaker said those who do enjoy listening to iPods need to avoid positioning the device near their pacemaker.