For healthcare professionals only


Disturbing pacemakers, and other stories

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 06 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1430

Magnetic drapes are used during surgery to hold metal instruments on the sterile field, but could interfere with the function of implantable electronic devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. A magnetic drape with 70 magnets was placed with its centre over the pacemakers of 50 patients in a cardiology clinic. For pacemakers showing interference, the drape was pulled away in 3 cm increments until the interference stopped. Interference was observed in 94% of pacemakers, and was more likely in patients with lower body weight (Anesth Analg 2013;116:555-9, doi:10.1213/ANE.0b013e31827ab470).

In a randomised trial of antioxidant agents on the hearing threshold of patients, 120 adults with age related hearing loss (presbycusis) were allocated one of the following regimens for six months: ginkgo biloba, á lipoic acid and vitamin C, papaverine chlorohydrate and vitamin E, or placebo. Free radicals are known to play a part in the aetiology of presbycusis, yet this trial failed to show any significant …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription