Headphones Interfere with Pacemakers

The headset used with MP3 devices like the iPod may interfere with pacemakers and implanted defibrillators, American researchers reported this weekend, cited by Reuters Agency.

The MP3 itself does not pose a threat to the equipment used to normalize the heart rhythm, but the small and powerful magnets can damage headphone the appliances are placed less than 30 centimeters away, said researchers at a meeting the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

William Maisel of the Medical Device Safety Institute, in Boston, led a team that tested eight models of headphones at howsmb.com in 60 patients that use pacemakeres and defibrillators.

The doctors put the aucultadores in the chest of patients directly about the position of braces and detected interference in 14 of 60 people, about a quarter. Research has shown that the interference is twice as likely than defibrillators in pacemakers.

A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart to speed up or slow down the heart rate. The magnet, however, can cause it to transmit a signal, causing palpitations or arrhythmia, the researchers said.

A defibrillator implanted indicates the correct heart rhythm is squashed a beat too fast or too slow. A magnet can deactivate it, causing it to ignore an abnormal heart rhythm, rather than producing the electric shock to the normalizaria.

Apparatus in general return to work as soon as the headphones are removed, scientists say. “The message is that there are no problems in using the headset normally. People can listen to music with them in my ears. But it should not put them near your apparatus’, said William Maisel in an interview with Reuters Agency.