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Magnets In Cell Phones And Smart Watches May Affect Pacemakers And Other Implanted Medical Devices

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empress
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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been informed by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) about the effect of magnets in cell phones and smartwatches on pacemakers and other implanted medical devices. Recent studies have shown that consumer electronic devices such as cell phones and smartwatches with high field strength magnets may affect implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators to switch to magnet mode and suspend normal operations until the magnet is moved away from the medical device. The magnetic safe mode allows for safe operation during certain medical procedures such as undergoing an MRI scan.

To avoid interference between cell phones, smartwatches, and heart devices, keep them at least six inches (15 centimeters) away from implanted medical devices. The USFDA believes the risk to patients is low, and the agency is not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time.

Recommendations

NAFDAC implores healthcare providers, patients, and consumers:

  • To Keep electronics, such as certain cell phones and smartwatches, six inches (15 centimeters) away from implanted medical devices.
  • Not to carry electronics in a pocket over the medical device

Health professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of the products to the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC PRASCOR [20543 or 0800-1-NAFDAC (0800-1-623322) TOLL-FREE from all networks] or via pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng or via eReporting platform available on the NAFDAC website www.nafdac.gov.ng or via Med Safety Application available for download on Android and IOS stores.

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