Phones can interfere with pacemakers, but usually the effects are rare and can be avoided.
Dr. Carsten Lennerz, study lead author and cardiology resident in the
Clinic for Heart and Circulatory Diseases at Munich’s German Heart
Centre, said that pacemakers in rare instances can mistakenly detect
electromagnetic interference from mobile phones. The devices can then
interpret the interference as a cardiac signal, causing them to
briefly stop working. This can sometimes result in the patient
Radiofrequency energy (RF) from cell phones can interact with some
electronic devices. This type of interference is called
electromagnetic interference (EMI). For this reason, FDA helped
develop a detailed test method to measure EMI of implanted cardiac
pacemakers and defibrillators from cell phones. This test method is
now part of a standard sponsored by the Association for the
Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). This standard will
allow manufacturers to ensure that cardiac pacemakers and
defibrillators are safe from cell phone EMI.
If EMI were to occur it could cauae:
Stopping the pacemaker from delivering the stimulating pulses that
regulate the heart's rhythm Causing the pacemaker to deliver the
pulses irregularly Causing the pacemaker to ignore the heart's own
rhythm and deliver pulses at a fixed rate
But based on current research, cell phones would not seem to pose a
significant health problem for the vast majority of pacemaker wearers.
Still, people with pacemakers may want to take some simple precautions
to be sure that their cell phones don't cause a problem.
This study just says that phones effect pacemakers, but once you take the phone away the pacemaker is fine once again.
Phones available in the US(less than 3 watts) don't appear to affect pacemaker function. However, new phones using new frequencies may make pacemakers unreliable.
Of important note, the pacemaker interference by the cellular phones
was only found to be significant when the phones were held over the
pacemakers-not when placed in the normal listening position over the