Have heart

June 23, 2008

A few days from now a friend of mine is having a new pacemaker installed. In his body. An electronic device that keeps his heart running.

People sometimes joke about microwave ovens and other gadgets affecting pacemakers, but with the number of gadgets that pervade our homes and offices, the problem of a disturbed pacemaker is more likely than ever.

According to Hank, his pacemaker isn’t powerful enough and the new one will have more juice. But more juice sometimes means more sensitivity and that gets me worried.

Here are a few things that pacemaker patients have an issue with…

Can’t go through the standard security at the airport
No metal detectors or security wand
RFID tag security systems at any store can affect it
No MRI machines or lingering near any large magnets

Batteries get changed every five years and diagnostics can be done remotely. But it’s still a worrisome situation, especially because you can’t always tell if a person has a pacemaker installed.

So I’m crossing my fingers that the surgery and everything with Hank goes well. And I’m thinking of all those other electronically controlled hearts all over the world and hoping they keep on ticking.

More to come…