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Effects of Ham and CB Radios on St. Jude Medical Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Devices

Background

The use of a ham radio or a CB radio should not damage or reprogram St. Jude Medical pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). There is, however, a remote possibility of single-beat inhibition of pacing as a result of keying the microphone or transmitter in pacemakers programmed to unipolar sensing.

All of our currently manufactured pacemakers and ICDs have feedthru filters that are highly effective in the mega-Hertz frequency range. The effectiveness of this filtering provides an additional level of safety for patients with St. Jude Medical pacemakers and ICDs.

Potential effects

Interference from ham and CB radios is not anticipated. A summary of potential effects is provided in the table below and is based on device testing at St. Jude Medical, clinical experience and/or a review of the scientific literature.

Potential Effect Estimated Frequency
  Pacemakers ICDs
Single beat inhibition Uncommon Rare

Recommendations

  • If inhibition is suspected, patients should avoid frequent, repetitive keying of the microphone.

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact St. Jude Medical Technical Services at 800-722-3774.

PDF Effects of Ham and CB Radios on St. Jude Medical Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Devices(22.4kb)
Rev 10/09