What interferes with your device?

While on vacation this summer, I went go karting. I loved this as a young boy and thought it would be fun racing my wife and friends around the track.  I was suprised that the motor really interfered with my pacemaker.  It felt like I was at the pacemaker clinic when they test your device, but for a longer duration of time.  My heart rate dropped and skipped some beats.  It was a really strange feeling that stopeed as soon as I hopped out of the kart.  It was the first time during my life with a device that this has happened.  I'm curious to know if you have expereneced anything like this and what activity casued it.  


Happy New Year,



Happy New Year Blake

by Gemita - 2024-01-01 17:40:54

Hello Blake, were you too close to the Go Kart engine, or was it the vibration?   Strange it hasn’t happened before, or perhaps you didn’t have a pacemaker the last time you went? 

Do you have Rate Response on although that would have raised your rate rather than dropping it.

Nothing like that has happened to me interference wise, although loud vibratory music can make my heart rate and rhythm unstable.  I went to a carnival a few years ago and almost collapsed.  My husband has a pacemaker too and he wasn’t affected at all.  My clinic rang me the next day to ask what had happened.  I had had several high atrial and high ventricular events at the carnival.  My rhythm disturbances lasted for hours and I didn't enjoy myself at all.

Will you get back into a Go Kart any time soon?

go kart

by new to pace.... - 2024-01-01 18:07:00

I would think it was the vibration  and you were sitting that made the difference.

new to pace

Concert speakers

by Lavender - 2024-01-01 18:09:58

I sat up front at a concert kind of near big speakers. When the joint got jumping, so did my heart. It made me feel sick. I moved to the back of the concert area, and immediately felt normal again. 

additional info

by batteryblake - 2024-01-01 19:04:29

The gasoline engine was directly behind me, probblly 6-12 inches.  I dont think it was the vibration as the karts, including mine, were stopped and idled until an accident was cleared off the track.  It's at this time that I felt strange.



by Lavender - 2024-01-01 19:13:53

It sounds like you were too close to the engine. By the way, Blake, thanks a bunch for starting this club and opening a space for us to gather. 

What interferes?

by piglet22 - 2024-01-02 05:45:12

In direct answer to your question, nothing, but I don't go karting.

Firstly, pacemakers aren't perfect and it's not unexpected to get symptoms like skipped beats that the pacemaker simply can't correct, or indeed can induce.

I assume given small wheels, speed and low position, it could be a bumpy ride. Do you use seat belts?

The nearest activity to yours might be a ride on lawnmower.

Do you think it was wise to do this without taking advice?

It's impossible to say what, if anything, might have interfered. Your device might have recorded an unused event.

Was it some EMI interference from the engine like the ignition system? Were there devices like cameras on board?

I saw a rucksack recently with a magnet warning on the strap. What it did I have no idea, but I certainly wouldn't want be wear something that plainly could change the operating mode of the device.

On balance, I would think EMI unlikely unless it was a poorly maintained machine. You might find that another identical machine has no effect.

You will have decide, perhaps with advice,, if some activities are just too risky living with a pacemaker.


Just looked at your location Frederikton. I get some items, badges, from a company CP? who do military insignia and equipment. Coincidence.

Go Karting

by Selwyn - 2024-01-02 12:02:05

Firstly, may I say to you Blake how wonderful this club site is. You did a lot of good when you started this club. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Perhaps the new developers will make this club site better, if that is possible. It does seem to work well as it it. The search facility, one of the strengths of this club, has two dates :  2017-03-19, and 2022-07-02 for Go Karting.

My experience of Karting  is one of hyperventilation from the excitement!  Why your heart rate dropped, no idea. Sometimes excitement will cause ectopic beats characterised by compensatory pauses.  I wonder whether you went into AMS** mode from the vibration and the result was a default setting? The drop in heart rate is hard to explain.

**Automatic mode switching (AMS) is an algorithm that provides automatic change of pacing mode from an atrio-ventricular (AV) synchronous to one without atrial tracking, in response to supraventricular tachyarrhythmias, to avoid non-physiologically high rates during DDD(R) pacing.

A special situation in which AMS can occur due to an inappropriate response triggered by sinus tachycardia ( eg. due to excitement!). You would then get a reduction in that heart rate.

Many thanks  for your foresight in develping this help for us.



by Tracey_E - 2024-01-07 15:54:43

I've never gone go karting, but I've done all sorts of other questionable things lol. A couple of times I felt a little off but nothing ever showed up in the interrogation. I don't have trouble believing that an engine that close could do it, tho. Yikes.

Almost certainly the magneto for the ignition spark

by crustyg - 2024-01-08 05:26:21

Small internal combustion engines have a magneto to generate the ignition spark: a powerful permanent magnet on the crankshaft passes through a large winding, generating a very high voltage for the ignition spark.

Large moving magnet about five inches from the back of your chest => lots of induced signals in your PM leads => PM senses them as natural pacing impulses => doesn't generate normal pacing pulses => low HR => low BP => you feel weird/odd/faint.

Pacing leads are shielded from RF fields, but aren't (can't be) shielded against changing magnetic fields => problems.  The ignition spark won't have helped, but the lead shielding does help against this.

This is why ride-on lawnmowers are 'forbidden' for PM/ICD patients.  Like a go-kart, but slower.

You know you're wired when...

You have rhythm.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.