2 Pacemakers Lecture Notes For Healthcare Professionals

Things that interfere or might interfere with the functions of pacemakers:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the unipolar pacemakers are more prone to interference with its function by the MRI.
  • Extracorporeal Shock-Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) should be avoided if possible to avoid interference, but if the use of the ESWL is mandatory then the pacemaker should be programmed to VVI mode before starting the procedure because the shock wave might be interpreted by the pacemaker as an atrial activity.
  • Diagnostic radiation during radiological imaging.
  • Radiotherapy if used for tumors in the chest or the breasts.
  • Cardiac monitors that inject current into the patient’s body.
  • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation interferes with unipolar pace makes
  • Diathermy, if used in an area close to the pacemaker.
  • Cell phones should not be put in the pocket near the pacemaker, and should not be heard by the ear on the side of the pacemaker.
  • Patients with pacemakers should avoid being around metal detectors for a long time.
  • High voltage power lines may interfere with the function of the unipolar pacemakers if the patient became close to the electrical field.

Things that don’t interfere with the function of the pacemakers:

  • Radiotherapy anywhere apart from the breasts or the chest.
  • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation doesn’t interfere with the function of the bipolar pacemakers.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).
  • Diathermy if used anywhere away from the pacemaker.
  • Microwave food heaters.
  • Metal detectors.


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