Daily Living – Insertable Cardiac Monitors

If you have an insertable cardiac monitor, you already know it allows you to continue with almost all of your normal daily activities. You can swim, bathe, and exercise with your cardiac monitor without fear of harming it. Your doctor may ask you to limit some of your activities because of your fainting spells or until your incision heals.

You should have received a Patient Manual at the time of your implant. This contains most of the information you need regarding your insertable cardiac monitor.

Electromagnetic Compatibility

Everything that uses electricity produces an electromagnetic energy field. How these energy fields interact with your cardiac monitor is called electromagnetic compatibility.

Energy fields in your daily surroundings are usually weak and will not affect your insertable cardiac monitor. Strong electromagnetic energy fields may temporarily affect the data collection by your insertable cardiac monitor.

Below are some simple guidelines for avoiding data collection problems related to electrical interference in a few common situations. If you have additional questions about electrical items and their possible effect on your insertable cardiac monitor, contact your doctor.

Security Screening Systems

It is unlikely that airport and courthouse screening devices will interfere with your insertable cardiac monitor data collection, but they may detect the metal components and set off the alarm. It may be necessary to present your device identification card to obtain clearance. You may wish to be hand-searched instead of going through the security archways.

Mobile Phones and Other Wireless Communication Devices

Wireless communication equipment includes cordless or mobile telephones, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) or other hand-held computers, Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computers, and Bluetooth devices. These may temporarily interact with your insertable cardiac monitor and affect data collection.

Device interaction can be minimised by the following:

  • Maintain a distance of at least 15 centimetres between the equipment and your insertable cardiac monitor implant site
  • When using a mobile phone, hold it to the ear on the opposite side of your implant site
  • Don’t carry the phone or other transmitting device in a pocket on the same side as your insertable cardiac monitor site or in a shoulder bag near your cardiac monitor as some phones emit signals even when they are not in use

Electronic Anti-Theft Systems

Many retail stores and libraries are equipped with electronic surveillance gates to prevent theft. To reduce the chance of these systems affecting your insertable cardiac monitor data collection, avoid any prolonged exposure while passing through the gates. Simply walk through these systems at a normal pace.

Home Environment

Your insertable cardiac monitor is not affected by most household electrical equipment such as household appliances, microwave ovens, electrical items for personal care and cleaning, power tools, and home electronics.

If you use an induction cook top, you should keep your cardiac monitor at least 60 centimetres away from the heating zone when the induction cooktop is on. Conventional heating elements do not affect your insertable cardiac monitor collection data.

Industrial Equipment

Working with or near certain industrial equipment such as arc welding tools, power plants, transmission lines, and other sources of high electrical current can interfere with the normal data collection of your insertable cardiac monitor.

Describe your work environment to your doctor so that he or she can provide advice to minimise interference with data collection.

Medical and Dental Procedures

Always tell medical and dental personnel that you have an implantable heart monitor. Having an insertable cardiac monitor does not prevent you from undergoing medical and dental procedures. With proper precautions, most procedures are unlikely to interfere with the function of your insertable cardiac monitor.

However, some medical procedures may temporarily affect the ability of your insertable cardiac monitor to collect data. Some procedures require your doctor to retrieve information from your cardiac monitor prior to the procedure. These include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Electrocautery
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans

Radio Transmitters

For items that transmit through an antenna, it is recommended that you keep a safe distance between the antenna of the radio transmitter and your insertable cardiac monitor.

Below are some types of radio transmitters that may affect insertable cardiac monitor data collection. Also included is the recommended minimal distance to maintain between the antenna and your insertable cardiac monitor:

  • Two-way radio transmitters – at least 15 centimetres
  • Portable transmitters – at least 30 centimetres
  • HAM transmitters – at least 2.5 metres

If you have additional questions about electrical items and their possible effect on your insertable cardiac monitor, refer to your Patient Manual or talk to your doctor.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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