Effects of Electromagnetic Interference on Implanted Cardiac Devices and Their Management

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Potential interference between implanted cardiac devices such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators and electromagnetic fields is an important concern for physicians taking care of patients with pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. There are many sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI); however, only a small number of these cause significant problems that need attention. Regardless of its source, EMI is of greater concern for a patient who is dependent on paced rhythm because inhibition of the pacemaker by EMI may produce ventricular standstill. It is important that cardiologists, internists, emergency medicine, critical care physicians, and anesthesiologists be aware of how EMI can affect the function of implanted cardiac devices so that appropriate treatment can be rendered and preventive measures instituted.

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