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Pacemaker device support

Using household appliances and tools

Understanding electromagnetic safety

Tens of thousands of patients worldwide rely on Boston Scientific technology for life-changing medical solutions, implants, and pain relief therapies.

The goal of a pacemaker device is to get you back to the things you enjoy in everyday life. Understand the facts about electromagnetic interference and your device to stay safe in every situation. 

All items that use electricity or transmit wireless signals have invisible electromagnetic fields around them that may temporarily interfere with your device. This is called electromagnetic interference, or EMI for short.

Your pacemaker is designed to work properly around most appliances and tools. However, strong electromagnetic interference (EMI) from some appliances and tools may affect how your pacemaker works. These effects are usually temporary. Still, we recommend following these guidelines to stay safe.

Your pacemaker has built-in features that protect it from interference from most electrical or wireless household items.

Some electrical and wireless devices must be kept a certain distance away from your pacemaker.


Safety ratings

Avoid use

Use with caution

Safe to use

Household tools that are not safe for use

These items are not safe to use if you have a pacemaker:

Avoid use

Avoid use

Avoid use

Avoid use

Household tools that are safe to use at a distance (use with caution)

If you use any of the following items, it’s important to keep them the recommended distance away from your implanted device to avoid interaction. 

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

While portable MP3 players should not interfere with your pacemaker, the headphones or earbuds should be stored at least 6 inches (15 cm) away from your pacemaker. You should avoid draping the headphones around your neck.

Keep at least 12 inches (30 cm) away from your pacemaker

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

It is safe to use headphones and earbuds, but you should refrain from draping them around your neck and from storing them in a breast or other shirt pocket.

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Keep at least 24 inches (60 cm) away from your pacemaker

Use with caution

Use with caution

Use with caution

Avoid leaning over running motors and alternators of a running vehicle. Alternators create large magnetic fields that can affect your pacemaker. However, when you are driving or riding you are at a safe distance.


Household tools that are safe under normal use

These household items are generally safe to use with a pacemaker as long as they are in good working condition and used as intended:

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Talk with your doctor before using a hot tub. It will not harm your pacemaker but hot tubs may affect your medical condition.

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

PDAs that are also cell phones should be kept at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker.

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use

Safe for use


Using cell phones safely

Your cell phone is a source of EMI and could affect your pacemaker temporarily. Once you move the phone away from your pacemaker, it will return it to working as usual.

  • Keep at least 6 inches (15 cm) between the cell phone and your pacemaker. If the phone transmits more than 3 watts, keep the phone 12 inches (30 cm) away
  • Hold the phone to your ear on the opposite side of your body from your pacemaker
  • Do not carry a cell phone in a breast pocket or on your belt if that places the phone within 6 inches (15 cm) of your pacemaker

This applies only to cell phones, not to household cordless phones. But you should avoid placing your household cordless phone receiver directly over your pacemaker.


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Our patient services team is here to support you throughout your journey.

(866) 484-3268

Important safety information

A pacemaker system is designed to monitor and treat your heart rhythm problems, greatly reducing the risks associated with them. These devices are sensitive to strong electromagnetic interference (EMI) and can be affected by certain sources of electric or magnetic fields.  With all medical procedures there are risks associated.  In regard to an implanted pacemaker, the risks include but are not limited to inappropriate heart rate response to exercise, lead moves out of place, loss of stimulation capability, allergic reaction, fluid underneath the skin, and infection.  In rare cases device failure or death can occur.  Be sure to talk with your doctor so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of this system.  To obtain a copy of the device Patient Handbook for more detailed device safety information, go to www.bostonscientific.com,  or you can request a copy by calling 1-866-484-3268 or writing to Boston Scientific, 4100 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul, MN  55112. 

Device quality and reliability 

It is Boston Scientific’s intent to provide implantable devices of high quality and reliability. However, these devices may exhibit malfunctions that may result in lost or compromised ability to deliver therapy. Refer to Boston Scientific’s CRM product performance report on www.bostonscientific.com for more information about device performance, including the types and rates of malfunctions that these devices have experienced historically. While historical data may not be predictive of future device performance, such data can provide important context for understanding the overall reliability of these types of products. Also, it is important that you talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of a device.

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