ARC Welding, MIG Welding, Plasma Cutter

Yesterday, I received my pacemaker. My hobby is restoring old cars, so there is a fair amount of welding and cutting. 

I've read about faraday T-Shirts and Hoodies, does anyone have a view concerning how effective a faraday T-shirt/Hoodie would be at protecting a pacemaker.

Another thing I read was "...twisting the wires together...." so does that mean you're twisting the ground cord and the welding cord around each other?


3 Comments

Welding etc

by piglet22 - 2023-12-07 06:56:00

This one crops up quite frequently.

Your best bet is to contact your pacing team, or the manufacturer of the pacemaker.

It's going to depend on the specific welder, power output etc.

Have you researched this on the web?

There must be welders out there with pacemakers who have written about their experiences.

I think we are sometimes too fearful that something bad or irreversible is going to happen.

All I would say is that because the pacemaker deals with such "delicate" signals at millivolt and mictoamp levels, you can be certain that pacemaker manufacturers will have taken shielding and safety very seriously.

As for twisting leads, certainly in electronics, twisted pairs are common.

Ethernet cables like CAT5e have 8 cores arranged as 4 twisted pairs.

The idea is that by intertwing the current carrying pairs, you reduce crosstalk between the cores and other cores in the bundle.

There are strict specifications on twist length and bend radius.

This is for electronic data levels, not high current welding.

Coiling cables is to be avoided, but I can't see any harm in a very gentle weave of the current carrying pair, or even cable tying them together.

I don't do welding but I do a lot of electrical and electronic experimentation and in over 18 years have never had an adverse effect.

Even  mains level 240-V 50 Hz shocks or kilovolt nerve conduction tests have caused any problems.

If it were me, I would probably try it out.

Maybe get someone else to do a bit of welding while you edge up ever closer and see how you get on.

Ultimately, it's down to you to decide.

Good luck.

I provided a response on this just recently

by crustyg - 2023-12-07 11:45:28

The big problem with welding, even modern MIG/TIG welding is the electrical noise created by the arc.  This can easily induce signals in your pacing leads that can be seen/interpreted by your device as a heart activation, so it doesn't produce a pacing output => low HR => low BP.

Unless you wear a tight-mesh copper suit (the sort worn by people who work on live HV cables) you can't shield against this RF noise.  It's the exact same problem that we all face if going into an MRI - which deliberately uses RF power to activate the protons in the nuclei of the atoms that make us up.

There might be some contributors here who have successfully carried on with welding post implantation, but unless/until they can attest that it's been proven to be safe, this is one of the few activities that really is off-limits now that you're paced.

Faraday clothing

by ANDREW75 - 2023-12-07 23:19:12

Hi GunnyG, I see like me you are Biotronik paced,

I agree with Crusty, faraday suits are questionable and my son teaches Union classes for Electrictians says he's only heard of them. I discussed the fine size of the mesh etc and they probably are to only stop you from getting killed from high voltge, not to protect pacemakers.

Attached is the link for Boitronik Guide for Electromatic Interference. As you can see Arc welding is listed under:  TOOLS / MOTORS / ELECTRONICS 

 https://www.biotronik.com/sites/default/files/2022-10/Electromagnetic%20Interference%20Guide.pdf

Interference with the implanted device is possible – Contraindication

A contraindication is a specific situation in which a medicine, procedure, or surgery should not be used because it may be harmful to the person.

I had to look up the definition for Contraindication!!

As far as the grinding you could use an Air grinder, probably safer if you grind through the hose.

This is your heart, take care

Andrew

 

 

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