Electromagnetic Compatibility Guide Patient Services

For Implantable Cardiac Devices


Medtronic heart devices are built so that the majority of items that are used daily will not affect the normal operation of an implanted heart device.  

However, items that generate or use electricity, or transmit wireless signals – such as a portable generator, power drill, or mobile phone – have electromagnetic fields around them. Some of these fields may affect the normal operation of a heart device.  

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is the relationship between these electromagnetic fields and your heart device.

How items may affect your heart device

If the electromagnetic fields surrounding an item are too close to an implanted heart device – and the device detects these fields – this may temporarily affect the normal function of the device. The same effect may also occur if the item an heart device implant patient touches is not in good working order or properly wired, causing electrical current to flow into their body. This may temporarily cause the heart device to deliver an unnecessary therapy, or withhold needed therapy. 

For this reason, we recommend to only use items in good working condition. In addition, we recommend maintaining a minimum distance between certain items and the heart device. This will help to avoid any temporary effect on the heart device. 

More specific recommendations on various items and products are outlined in this brochure. 

What to do if you think an item is affecting your heart device

In the case of dizziness, a lightheaded feeling, a change in heart rate or receive a shock while using an item, simply release the object or move away from it. If the symptoms continue, consult your doctor.

About this guide

We’ve organised this guide to make it helpful and convenient to find the answers to the questions. It’s divided into five main categories



Each category is broken into sections, ranging from no known risk to special considerations, which provides the recommended minimum distance for the items or products listed.

Thumbnail of EMC Patient Brochure


Download our EMC guide to find answers to your questions about the implantable cardiac device and electromagnetic compatibility.

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