Lifeline systems

Does anyone use a mobile medical lifeline system with their pacemaker? That is, a system that can be used when away from home. One company I consulted said theirs (the gps) would interfere with the pacemaker, so they cannot recommend it.

Thank you.

 


9 Comments

Legal Talk vs Reality

by AgentX86 - 2019-09-24 14:17:13

Exactly right. Even if there were a minute chance of interference, you only use the device in an emergency. Would yoube better off without it? If it's really an emergency...

sounds like the lawyers talking again

by Tracey_E - 2019-09-24 14:43:49

It's a cya world, so sometimes warnings  are fear of lawsuits, nothing to do with reality. I don't know much about the devices, but wifi, bluetooth, gps, radios are all harmless to us. As the others said, it's for an emergency so the benefits would outweigh the potential risks. You could ask your doctor. Outside of an industrial setting, there are very few things that will affect a pacer. 

puzzled

by ROBO Pop - 2019-09-25 21:33:05

I must say I'm puzzled. If you have a pacemaker, i.e. not a defibrillator, why on earth are you so fixated on a worst case scenario? All of your posts seem to be doom and gloom oriented. Just how much of your life are you wasting worrying about dying. We are all going down that path, and even Christ,  Mohamad, Budda, etc didn't survive. Why not just enjoy whatever time you have and stop worrying.

Remember if all you do is worry about dying you really aren't living anyway.

Medical alerts

by Heartthrob - 2019-09-25 22:47:29

Thanks Angy, that's a great idea. Yup, I and many friends also venture out into remote, wild territory.  Some companies that offer medical alert devices simply will not sell them to people with pacemakers who use them on the road, away from indoors at home.

A lot of people pretty much stick with home and would never learn that this is fact.

Fun being out in this amazing world but knowing someone can find me should it be needed. One of my best adventure buddies pitched off his bicycle on a mountain and broke seven ribs last year, but fortunately could be located. He's as resilient as all of us and is back riding intact.

I'm often out of cellular reach.

Thanks for sharing your experience with that.

Real problem? I don't think so

by Gotrhythm - 2019-09-26 12:55:31

I had a medical alert button, yes with GPS. Ultimately I decided I didn't need it, but never was there any issue re: pacemaker.

Basically those little devices are just a dedicated cell phone that can only call or recieve calls from one number. If it has "fall detection" then there is also an accellerometer.

I don't see how the GPS is in any way different from or more dangerous than that of a cell phone. True, if you're my size, the little gizmo when worn on a necklace rests closer than 6 inches from the pacemaker, but I never experienced any issues. I have frequently carried my cell phone in a chest pocket which puts it even closer to the pacemaker. Again, no problem.

When I was researching medical alert devices, I frequently took long walks with the dog so I certainly wanted one with GPS. I compared features and prices of at least 10. I came accross no companies, not one, that wouldn't sell to someone with a pacemaker.

There is a lot of old, misguided, and just plain wrong advice to be found out there on the internet. One of the things I treasure most about Pacemaker Club is that the advice when given isn't theorectical but is filtered through real people's real experience. 

I have to wonder if the source you're getting your infornation from is trustworthy.

Real problem

by Heartthrob - 2019-09-26 17:17:56

Phillips, the local representative in my city and then the online company website spokesman each told me personally and directtly that they do not provide mobile lifelines to PM users. I guess I could lie and say I don't have a PM, but that's not my style.

I'm not fictionalizing my comments. I've been a researcher for an industry all my life and know what's fact and what's fiction. If the source says we won't provide one, that says it.

I never rely on Internet information, always go directly by phone to the genuine source. Call Phillips yourself if you're skeptical about what I've said. I just talked with them yesterday. 

That's why I asked if anyone could could suggest a company that does offer them. 

If you know of one -- and you seem to have a lot of information on this, having found 10 companies that did -- please let me know of one or two because I'm interested in proceeding to purchase and get on with my plans.

Names? That would be helpful.

Looking for answers

by Gotrhythm - 2019-09-28 18:35:47

The medical alert system I used was called "Medical Alert."

A nice lady brought it to the house and demonstrated it. Not that a lot of explantion was needed, because it could hardly be simpler. No contract.

I went with Medical Alert because there was (a) a local reprentitive--if I had issues  I wanted a human face to deal with (b) it offered fall dectection (c) the price was in line--although I see better prices advertised now (d) there were no limitations on how close to the base I had to be and (E) the call center was located in the US--I have nothing agains call centers located in other countries, but my Southern accent is not always perfectly intelligible to people in other countries.

I see that some companies are offering units that don't need recharging, which would be nice, but I don't know how they work.

There is a plethora of choices. Even Cricket cell phones is offering a phone with some kind of emergency medical alert service, in addition to all its usual cell services. So that's two. Medical Alert and Cricket. But there are many, many more--some of which are fundamentally cell phones. Some operate through landline phones. 

Are cell phones dangerous to pacemakers? I'm sure you can find people who say that they are. My first cell phone came with the warning not to use ti on the same side as the pacemaker, and/or to keep it 6 inches away. I ignored it. Can't remember about my current iPhone. But there was never a warning that it would not be safe to carry it on my person.

For me, it turned out that what I needed more than a medical alert device, was a properly programmed pacemaker. Once the intermittant heart block was taken care of there weren't any more spells of near syncope to worry about.

Medical alerts

by Heartthrob - 2019-09-29 12:27:21

Thank you for this information. I'll try Medical Alert.

I'm sure you and everyone else understands by now that I am looking for a system that can be used on the road, in the woods, not just hooked to a landline at home.

After reading your reply, I again called Phlillips -- just got off the phone -- and the rep said under NO cirmcumstance will Phillips sell its product to someone with a pacemaker. Period.

Because the frequencies conflict (his words, not mine.) I asked if that would differ among PM makers; he said "we do not sell to anyone, not with a doctor's letter of approval, not at all."

So, I will now call Medical Alert. Thank you. I'll report back what they say at this moment in time. The Phillips reply makes me wonder if a lawsuit within the industry changed protocols.

I'm not saying anything is dangerous; the company is suggesting than somehow it is. I'm just trying to buy a product and one that is not tethered to my home.

The difference between cell phones (which can be pitched out of reach in a fall or become too cumbersome to unlock and use in an emergency) and a wearable device is that the latter just means pushing a button on something worn around the neck.

My PM works fine. I want worry-free mobility. 

 

 

Frequencies? Hmm

by Gotrhythm - 2019-09-29 16:05:37

The "frequencies conflict?" If he meant radio frequencies--which is fundamentally how all these alert devices work--radio frequencies are no hazard at all to today's pacemakers. Even the warnings about cell phones are about the battery, not the frequencies over which the cell phone is getting the signal. 

No offence to you or the Phillips salesman, but I think you were talking to someone who might know his product but doesn't know diddly about pacemakers, how they work, or what would damage one. 

I understand perfectly the desire to have a system that doesn't stop working 1500 feet from your house, the way some of the landline systems do. That's what I wanted too, and the reason I chose something that relied on cell phone technology. It would work anywhere there was cell coverage. Since my chief worry was syncope, a must-have was fall detection. I needed something that didn't rely on my being able to press the button.

I found wearing the unit on a lanyard around my neck to be uncomfortable--just my idiosyncracy. If I were looking for something now, I would try to find one that could be worn bracelet-fashion.

I suspect the day will come soon that some type of medical alert will be incorporated into something like the Apple watch.

Good luck on your search. 

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