Cell phones have been getting a lot of flak in ERs and hospitals, while iPods are seen as the pinnacle of design. Leave it to a 17-year old to bring the real troublemaker out into the open. Apparently iPods interfere with pacemakers, sometimes causing them to stop working completely. Here’s more from Reuters:
The study tested the effect of the portable music devices on 100 patients, whose mean age was 77, outfitted with pacemakers. Electrical interference was detected half of the time when the iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient’s chest for 5 to 10 seconds.
In some cases, the iPods caused interference when held 18 inches from the chest. Interfering with the telemetry equipment caused the device to misread the heart’s pacing and in one case caused the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether.
Thaker, whose father is an electrophysiologist and whose mother is a rheumatologist, said he asked his dad about a potential interaction between pacemakers and iPods.