Protection from electromagnetic interference

I recently received an ICD and now am having difficulty returning to work for fear of electromagnetic interference.  It baffles me how Boston Scientific and my EP can’t point me in the right direction to get back to work.  My work requires me to be in areas that may or may not have EMI but to be on the safe side they suggest I use some sort of PPE to protect me.  I’m sure there are others who have had similar situations.  So I’m here to see if there’s any viable solution to my dilemma....thanks in advance 


protection from electromagnetic interference

by Bionic Dan - 2018-11-18 15:20:13

I had my ICD implanted January 2018. I work facilities operations & maintenance in a data center for a fortune 100 corporation (big data center). I work around all kinds of electrical switchgear, standby generators, electric motors, UPS systems, inverters, variable speed drive, etc, etc....Have not had any issues to date. Also worth noting I'm a licensed amateur radio operator, i routinley transmit from my home station on HF, VHF & UHF frequencies at power levels greater than 100 watts and have never had an issue. I dont use any PPE or shielding around my implant. I have a St. Jude device. Hope that helps ease your mind.

electro magnetic interference

by muskeg - 2018-11-18 21:18:37

I recieved my ICD about a year ago

I work as an electrical motor systems technician, working on motors from approx 200 h.p. up to approx 10,000 h.p. and from 208 volts a.c. up to 13,800 volts a.c.

I was concerned about returning to work after the implant, I discussed the situation with my employer and they agreed to buy a gaussmeter to monitor my work area for electromagnetic issues that might affect my ICD.

I was able to convince Biotronik (ICD manufacturer) to supply a Technical Information Bulletin, a clip of the bulletin follows....

"What is considered a strong magnetic field?
Patients with BIOTRONIK ICDs should avoid static magnetic fields greater than 1.0 millitesla (or 10 gauss) at the implant site. Magnetic fields above this magnitude could temporarily affect the operation of the ICD in patients implanted with these devices. Specifically, the ICD's ability to detect and treat potentially life-threatening arrhythmias could be disabled."

I carried the gaussmeter with me for the first couple of weeks, checking absolutely everything in my path. The only issues are a large induction style bearing heater, about 100 gauss right on the heater, about 2 gauss 1-2 feet away form the heater, keep the implant site at least two feet from that (i.e. don't bear hug the induction heater) another is a tester which we use that feeds 1000 amps of current into the shafts of the rotors that come out of large electric motors,about 20 gauss right on the rotor when energized, about 2 gauss 1-2 feet away from the rotor,  keep the implant site at least two feet from the rotors when testing (i.e, don't bear hug the rotor when energized either) I could go into a lengthy explaination why these two items are an issue, why they emit excessive lines of electrical force, EMF's/why they provide electromagnetic issues, I'll spare you the details

Normal everyday typical work area in the shop, with motors running, transformers energized, lights, heaters, radios on, much less then 1 gauss.

Those are the only two situations I have come across, running large electric motors transformers etc are no issue at all

I've been back at work for over a year, the gaussmeter now sits relatively unused

These are my experiences, if you would like more details, details on the gaussmeter or more info, I would be happy to share on request



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