The following household items are generally safe to use with a pacemaker as long as they are in good working condition and used as intended:
Clothes washing machines
Electric can openers
Electric invisible fences
Hot tubs/whirlpool baths
NOTE: Consult with your doctor before using a hot tub. While a hot tub will not harm your pacemaker, your medical condition may not permit this activity.
Laser tag games
Ovens (electric, convection, or gas)
Patient alert devices
Personal digital assistants (PDAs)
Portable space heaters
Radios (AM and FM)
Remote controls (TV, garage door, stereo, camera/video equipment)
Stoves (electric or gas)
TV or radio towers (safe outside of restricted areas)
Safe to Use with Extra Precautions
If you use any of the following items, it’s important to keep them the recommended distance away from your pacemaker to avoid interaction with your device.
Items that should not be placed directly over your pacemaker, but are otherwise safe to use:
Cordless (household) telephones
Portable MP3 and multimedia players (such as iPods®) that do not also function as a cellular phone
NOTE: While portable MP3 players themselves should not interfere with your pacemaker, the headphones or earbuds should be stored at least 6 inches (15 cm) away from your device and you should avoid draping the headphones around your neck.
Items that should remain at least 6 inches (15 cm) away from your pacemaker:
Cellular phones, including PDAs and portable MP3 players with integrated cellular phones
Devices transmitting Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi signals (cellular phones, wireless Internet routers, etc.)
Headphones and earbuds
NOTE: 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.
Magnetic wands used in the game of Bingo
Items that should remain at least 12 inches (30 cm) away from your pacemaker:
Battery-powered cordless power tools
Corded drills and power tools
Remote controls with antennas
Shop tools (drills, table saws, etc.)
Items that should remain at least 24 inches (60 cm) away from your pacemaker:
CB and police radio antennas
Running motors and alternators, especially those found in vehicles
NOTE: Avoid leaning over running motors and alternators of a running vehicle. Alternators create large magnetic fields that can affect your pacemaker. However, the distance required to drive or ride in a vehicle is safe.
Using Cellular Phones Safely
Your cellular phone is a source of EMI and could affect your pacemaker’s operation. This interaction is temporary, and moving the phone away from your device will return it to proper function. To reduce the chance of interaction, follow these precautions:
Maintain a distance of at least 6 inches (15 cm) between the cell phone and your pacemaker. If the phone transmits more than 3 watts, increase the distance to 12 inches (30 cm).
Hold the cellular 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 a belt if that places the phone within 6 inches (15 cm) of your pacemaker.
These precautions apply only to cell phones, not to household cordless phones. However, you should avoid placing your household cordless phone receiver directly over your pacemaker.
NOT Safe for Use
The following items are NOT safe to use if you have a pacemaker:
Body-fat measuring scales
Magnetic mattresses and chairs