Pacemaker magnet

I am a nurse. I have been in a new position for about a year. A new floor. We do colonoscopies. I assist the doctor. So I'm standing next to the doctor at the patient's bedside. The anesthesiologist comes in to check this elderly sickly woman. Woman has a pacemaker. Anesthesiologist decides she needs the magnet applied to her chest and the code cart pads. Code cart pads are not usual and I have never seen anyone with a pacemaker  have to have the magnet placed.  Understanding that Medtronic says we should be 8 inches away from this magnet, how would you feel about doing compressions on this patient if need be, if you yourself had a pacemaker? 



by AgentX86 - 2020-10-29 23:31:07

A magnet is used to set the pacemaker to it's default setting, turning off all feedback so there's no problem with over-sensing, rate response, or whatever.  Just a constant rate.  A similar thing is done for MRIs too, except that MRI machines don't like magnets much.  Pacemakers are set to this mode via the interrogatoin/setting device, then restored after.

This isn't a big deal but it disables all optimizations and may not feel particularly good.

battery mode

by dwelch - 2020-10-30 01:45:25

it puts it in a battery mode, the fixed rate is related to the voltage left on the battery indicating battery life.  as answered above a fixed rate, not heard of this here but hopefully the doc was trained this was okay, for every brand, ...


by grilor - 2020-10-30 05:32:53

I guess my question is , would you be afraid it would interfere with your own device should you have to do compressions on her. Thus being quite a bit closer. Being 100 percent dependent myself.


by Tracey_E - 2020-10-30 10:43:05

The magnet has to be pretty much on top of it to do anything so it would not concern me, no. If you had to do compressions on her, wouldn't you take the magnet off? 


by AgentX86 - 2020-10-30 16:01:23

I'm pacemaker dependent and wouldn't have a second thought if a medial professional used a magnet to set my pacemaker to its "safe" mode.  I'd make sure they knew that I had a pacemaker and ask them what they're doing (I always ask that and it has nothing to do with the pacemaker) and then get on with it.

I misunderstood your question.  No, I wouldn't be concerned about a magnet a few feet away. It's not that big of a deal if you put it on yourself.  It'll temporarily disable all the features of your PM but it won't shut it off.


by grilor - 2020-10-30 20:48:07

I don't know the answer to that Tracey, but I will find out. Also wonder about her debibrillator going off and what that would do to you the rescuer with a pacemaker. That particular incident just raised some concerns/questions for me.




by ROBO Pop - 2020-11-03 01:12:04

The body is a poor conductor and defibrillator lead contacts are buried within the heart, quite a way from the surface of the skin. Should the defibrillator fire anyone in contact would feel a slight tingle or vibration but nothing of significance. Otherwise why wouldn't they advise people with a defibrillator not to have sex??? 

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