Pacemaker Dysfunction Caused by Mobile Phones:

By: Ian Ball

In order to study about the ill-effects that can be caused to the patients, they made a study with 100 patients of varying ages between 4-88 years.

Process of Study:

The pacing and sensing thresholds were kept in track with the record of the atrial and ventricular sensitivity made adjusted to the most sensitive value, and with pacemakers kept in unipolar atrial and ventricular sensing. The study was extended to bipolar sensing, only to those who were noticed to have interference problems. The pacemaker was programmed at a rate of 40 beats per minute, which was higher than the bar of spontaneous rate in motive to detect the pacemaker functionality. Many analyses were made by pointing the antenna of the mobile phones directly to face the pacemaker. They carried tests to calculate the interference distance and also recorded the following parameters like, the marker channels, surface electrocardiograms and intracardiac rlectrograms, etc., under the case when calls were made from landline phone to mobile phone. The operations that were checked are:

?Switching the phone on.
?Receiving calls
?Allowing the phone to ring for a maximum of 10 seconds.
?Receiving calls without conversing
?Connecting the phone to Internet.
?Cut off the connection.

Throughout the test analysis, ECG was monitored continuously so as to terminate the connection if there were any interference problems. The performance was checked after the tests and the reports of the results were made and checked for the changes.

Devices:

It was stated that they thoroughly checked 31 different devices of various companies, but all the devices were proved to have been equipped with modern feedthru filters and also tested 23 single chambered pacemakers out of which 4 were atrial-inhibited and 19 were ventricular-inhibited and the left one was single lead (VDD) pacemaker.

Conclusion:

It was found that interference occurred when the pacing was direct to pacemaker and the value of ventricular sensitivity was 0.25 mV and atrial sensitivity was 0.18 mV. Later, the interference was not detected when the ventricular sensitivity was changed to 0.5 mV.
The second time, interference was detected when the mobile was made to ring with the ventricular sensitivity set to 0.5 mV and then it was not detected when the level was raised to 1.0 mV. It was also noted that there was no interference when the mobile was moved away from the pacemaker at a distance greater than 2 cm. It is advised to use the device equipped with feedthru filters.

Finally, the tests conclude that the patients should not carry mobile phones closer to the pacemaker and it is also recommended to program the ventricular sensitivity in a way it is set at 2.0 mV or still in a less sensitive level.

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