strong magnet in new sewing machine

I have had my pacemaker since 2019. I have total heart block. I just purchased a high end professional sewing machine. When I took it out of the box, it had a warning label for a strong magnet. I don't know if I can possibly allow proper distance from the magnet while sewing. I am also concerned with the amount of time I would be close to the machine while sewing a project. Do we have any sewers in this group that may have any information on if this type of magnet is strong enough to interefere with my pacemaker? Should I revert back to a noncomputerized machine like mine of 30 years ago? I cannot find any information from the manufacturer and I have not received any answers to my inquiries from my cardiologist. Thanks in advance for any ideas or information.


6 Comments

strong magnet

by new to pace.... - 2023-08-27 19:41:09

It would also help if you filled in your bio as sometimes our answers depend on your location, make, model.  I understand the rule of thumb is to  keep your pacemaker   at least 6 inches away.

new to pace

Sewing

by piglet22 - 2023-08-28 10:07:45

I'm not a sewer - is that the right term or a waste water pipe? -but I am interested in getting a machine sometime.

Do you know exactly where it is, the magnet, and why it's there?

I'm guessing it might be used to hold something down or together? The make and type of machine would help.

If there's a warning, you need to heed it. The only time I've seen a magnetic device and a pacemaker mentioned is on the magnetic sludge collector in central heating systems.

Some new types of magnets are incredibly strong and have powerful magnetic fields unless shielded by a keeper.

The 6" rule needs to be taken with caution as it going to depend on the strength of the field and magnets have got a lot stronger in everyday objects.

Your pacemaker might already be suitable for MRI in terms of component safey, but that might only apply if pre-scan precautions are taken.

It's a positive sign that the manufacturer even troubles to mention it at all, but they certainly need to be handled with respect.

I doubt that the magnet has anything to do with whether the machine is computerised or not.

Perhaps raise it with the manufacturer or have a good look through the instructions. 

On balance, I would suggest locate the magnet and I would increase my distance to about 30-cm to be on the safe side.

How dangerous is it really?

by Gotrhythm - 2023-08-28 15:34:07

I wish some knowledgable member would come forward and tell us what magnets actually do when they supposedly "intefere" with our pacemakers.

I mean, will the pacemaker explode? Have it's components fried? Scramble it's circuits? I kind of doubt it. After all the magnet they use when they interrogate us at the office doesn't do any of those things.

And what will happen to us? Will we keel over dead? Or feel a little odd for a second? Or maybe feel nothing at all?

Magnets are everywhere--ususally where you can't see them or feel them. And more and more uses are being found all the time. So there will be more and more of them. The danger, if there is any danger, lurks everywhere ready to zapper the unlucky pacemaker wearer at any time.

Funny thing about danger. We do things all the time that we know for a fact can kill you. Getting into a car comes to mind. Crossing a street. But because it's a common danger we hardly notice it.

Whereas the danger from a magnet (strange things, magnets!) combines with the strangeness of having a pacemaker managing our heart rate--and zowie! DANGER, DANGER! 

I don't know what your condition is or what a magnet of any power might do to your pacemaker. But I'm pretty sure your house is full of things more dangerous than your new sewing machine. From oil heating on the cooking range to poisons in the cabinets--you live all the time with things whose danger you recognise and then work around without giving it a thought.

For safety's sake, get a ruler. Measure 6 inches from your device so you'll know exactly how far 6 inches is. Don't let your chest get closer to the machine than 6 inches. I haven't used one in years, but I don't believe that even when you're bent over to thread the needle or watch a stitch closely, your chest comes closer to the machine than that.

And then enjoy your new machine!

A pacemaker should be the reason you can do things, not the reason you can't.

Silver-infused clothing

by georgeazarmitchell - 2023-08-28 19:08:56

Silver infuse clothing has been shown to block magnetic fields . I sit in front of a powerful computer every day while trading the markets. I have ordered one of these shirts and I will let you know how it works.I am getting some EMF while on my riding mower,it's happened twice. No shock but Pacing occurred. I will let you know how and if it works on the mower . They also sell fabric that has silver-infused material. You might cover the motor and see if you feel any different than before you covered it.Geo

Don't let your pacemaker cripple you

by Gotrhythm - 2023-08-31 13:24:28

When we talk about a safe distance from a magnet, the distance we are measuring is the distance from the device in your chest to the magnet.

I can't think of anything I use my hands to operate that my chest is not more than 6 inches away from. The one exception might be a cell phone, held to the left ear, or put in a breast pocket, or tucked in a bra---all things I don't do--but I don't freak out if the cell phone does come close to my chest. I've never experienced any problem.

I just hate the thought of letting something like a pacemaker prevent you from living your life with full satisfaction, when it doesn't need to if you exercise just a little caution. Kind of like how you use a stove, or candle, or sharp knife.

The magnet will not do something that will kill you. If you feel any ill effects all you have to do is move away, only a couple of inches, and everything will return to normal.

Or you can try a silver infused shirt. Sounds expensive. But whatever makes you able to enjoy your new machine.

strong magnet

by TheRiot - 2023-08-31 16:09:16

Thank you everyone for your comments. I was finally able to speak with y cardiology practice. For anyone else that could use the info, I was told that the magnet would only possibly increase my heart rate not above 100. It would return to normal settings once I move away from the magnet. However, those that have an implanted defibrillator may have to exercise more caution since it would interfere with the defibrillating function. That is not my case. Thank you for the advice.

You know you're wired when...

“Batteries not included” takes on a new meaning.

Member Quotes

I can bike a 40-50 tour with no trouble.