Do E-Cigarettes Interfere With Implanted Heart Defibrillators?

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Titled, “Unintentional magnet reversion of an implanted cardiac defibrillator by an electronic cigarette,” the report narrates the case of a 48 year old man with an ICD who grew concerned after hearing his device beep. After tests were carried out to analyze the functionality of his device, data from the remote transmission indicated 4 magnet interactions with his ICD. These corresponded with the dates and times when the patient heard the steady tone from his device,

Upon further questioning, the patient said that he often carried his vape device in his left breast pocket, and when the researchers then held the e-cigarette close to the defibrillator, the device beeped. The patient said that he also used vaping products and that he had no idea that the JUUL device he used for vaping had an integrated magnetic component.

Electronic devices need to be held away from heart implants

“The main take-home for patients is that if they have an implantable device, do not hold a vaping device or any other electronic device emitting a magnetic field in direct contact with their chest.”

To this effect, the authors are cautioning patients with ICDs against holding their e-cigarettes close to the area of their implant. “If a patient stores the e-cigarette near the defibrillator – such as in shirt or jacket pocket overlying the device – there is a risk of temporarily disabling the defibrillator’s ability to detect and treat a potentially lethal heart rhythm abnormality,” said Julie Shea of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, coauthor of the case report.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported interaction between an electronic cigarette and an implantable defibrillator,” added Shea. Director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Baltimore Michael Blaha, concurred.

“This patient did not have any adverse health consequences, but it shows that it is possible for a vaping device to at least temporarily interfere with an implantable cardiac device,” he said. “The main take-home for patients is that if they have an implantable device, do not hold a vaping device or any other electronic device emitting a magnetic field in direct contact with their chest.”

Does your e-cigarette contain a magnetic component?

Meanwhile, JUUL does advise vapers to keep their devices away from key cards, credit cards and other items with magnetic strips such as pacemakers. The authors did not address whether other vape devices have similar magnetic components, however it would be advisable for vapers to find this information out about their preferred products.

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Source: VapingPost