iPods 'mess with pacemakers'
Granny loves her iPod, bless her - OH MY GOD!!
iPods have joined late-opening restaurants and children playing on old people's lawns on the list of things that can make pacemakers go haywire.
A new study, presented today to a meeting of heart specialists by a 17-year-old high school student, suggests that the music-playing device can interfere with the electromagnetic equipment in implanted pacemakers.
Reuters reports 100 pacemaker patients (with a mean age of 77) were examined in the study.
Holding the iPod just two inches away from their chests for 5 to 10 seconds was enough to cause electrical interference half the time. In some cases, iShenanigans could be detected as far as 18 inches away. The interference usually just caused the equipment to misread the heart's pacing, but one case caused the pacemaker to stop working entirely.
But before you buy grandpa a gift to speed up that inheritance money; none of the symptoms are life-threatening, and the pacemakers returned to normal when the iPods were shut off.
Jay Thaker, a student at Okemos High School in Michigan, co-authored the the report with a friend of his father, Dr. Krit Jongnarangsin, an assistant professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan.
The iPod was the only portable music player tested in the study.
The reason why it this hasn't been caught before?
"Most pacemaker patients are not iPod users," Jongnarangsin said. ®
18 amps ?!?
You need to tell your granny to stop using the industrial grade hot air gun and use a normal hair drier. My hot air gun, which strips paint and sets fire to dry wood, uses 5 amps (2400W); so your granny is messing with some really dangerous gear there.
18 amp etc. correction
It's actually a 1200 W hot air gun (still 5 Amps).
Your granny is still in danger!
Why is it that so many assume this parody of a "study" is in any way valid?
Look. Just because someone somewhere started calling the brain fart of some kid a "study" doesn't mean you have to give it any credibility.
Sure, it's quite possible to interrupt the operation of a pacemaker briefly by, for instance, having your phone right next to it when someone calls you. It'll still work, it's just that it might not work in a mode that you would consider optimal, for a short while.
But the ouput from a shitty little iPod is nothing compared to a phone.
And EMI is not a "black art". Any electronics designer worth anything knows how to minimise it. It's only the people who haven't learned yet that will tell you so. And since pacemakers have a metal shell, it's highly unlikely that the frequencies that might be emitted from any little player will penetrate the shell (with an amplitude that actually matters). They can, by a far stretch of the imagination, disrupt measurements. But even that is pretty far-fetched.
Do you want to bet that the kid stuck the iPod between the pacemaker and the readout equipment?