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Effects of Cellular Telephones on St. Jude Medical Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Devices

Background

St. Jude Medical pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) designed and manufactured since the late 1980’s are cellular tested. They include a feedthru filter assembly, making them unaffected by both analog and digital cellular phone systems.

All implanted St. Jude Medical pacemakers and ICDs have been tested for compatibility with handheld wireless transmitters in accordance with the requirements of AAMI PC69. This testing covered the operating frequencies (450 MHz – 3 GHz) and pulsed modulation techniques of all of the digital cellular phone technologies in worldwide use today. Based on results of this testing, pacemakers and ICDs should not be affected by the normal operation of cellular phones.

Potential effects

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
No Interference – Devices with Feedthru Filters N/A N/A
Inhibition or Asynchronous Pacing – Microny/Regency Devices without Feedthru Filters Uncommon N/A

Recommendations

Pacemakers

No special precautions are needed for current pacemakers with feedthru filters.

Microny and Regency models:
  • Maintain a minimum separation of 6 inches between a cellular phone and the implanted device. Patients should hold the phone to the ear opposite the side of the implanted device. Patients should not carry cell phones in the breast pocket as some phones emit signals when turned ON but not in use (i.e., in the listen or standby mode).

ICDs

No special precautions are needed for ICDs with feedthru filters.

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

PDF Effects of Cellular Telephones on St. Jude Medical Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Devices (23.4kb)
Rev 01/15