Saturday 10 December 2016

Trouble in store for pacemakers

Published 28/06/2016 | 02:30

Patients with pacemakers have been warned that their devices may be disrupted by anti-theft systems in shops
Patients with pacemakers have been warned that their devices may be disrupted by anti-theft systems in shops

Doctors must warn patients with pacemakers that their devices may be disrupted by anti-theft systems used in shops, experts have said.

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Many patients are unaware that electronic anti-theft systems, also known as electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, can pose a threat to people using cardiac devices, they said.

Prolonged exposure to the in-store devices can cause pacing therapy to drop beats and cause implantable defibrillators (ICDs) to deliver inappropriate shocks. While previous warnings have been issued, many patients are unaware of the problem.

It is particularly important that patients do not sit or slouch in a chair or couch in store entry areas. Some of the anti-theft devices are hidden under floors, in walls and in doors.

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