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EMI in the Workplace

EMI in the Workplace


The presence of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is often substantially higher in a work setting than it is in a home or daily life settings. EMI generated by industrial equipment can be of greater strength and duration which can potentially cause a greater risk to employees with pacemakers, defibrillators and other implantable electrical devices. While the majority of workplaces offer little to no risk for patients, workplace EMI has been known to cause the following events to occur:

  • Asynchronous pacing (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator “ICDs”, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillator “CRT-Ds”, Pacemakers, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Pacemaker “CRT-Ps”)
  • Inhibition of pacing (ICDs, CRT-Ds, Pacemakers, CRT-Ps)
  • Inhibition of tachyarrhythmia aka shock therapy not provided when needed (ICDs, CRT-Ds)
  • Inability to communicate with the device (ICDs, CRT-Ds, Pacemakers, CRT-Ps)
  • Inappropriate shocks (ICDs, CRT-Ds)
  • Deactivation of shock therapy (ICDs, CRT-Ds)
  • Trigger ventricular pacing at maximum tracking rate (ICDs, CRT-Ds, Pacemakers, CRT-Ps)
  • Trigger the end of life indicator (Pacemakers, CRT-Ps)

The impact that EMI has on a medical device is typically temporary and is corrected by either moving away from the source of the EMI or shutting off the source of the EMI. While rare, EMI can trigger a medical device to revert to Safe Mode or have memory corruption.

If you are concerned about EMI in your workplace, please contact Keystone Compliance to setup a site survey to determine which areas and machines to avoid and to give you and your loved ones the peace of mind that workplace EMI dangers have been addressed.

Learn more about EMI in your workplace or Keystone’s Site Survey service: