Compatibility of implanted cardio defib with MIG and TIG

Gut feeling is TIG is the one to avoid. MIG likely not so bad. Finding a cardiologist that knows TIG and MIG is going to be the problem.
Were you given a list of things to avoid?
Be careful and don't be a lab rat,
Wes
Reply to
Wes
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Does an implanted cardiac defibrillator preclude use of MIG and TIG,
particularly TIG with HF?
My limited web research indicates not but I'd like to see more data.
Here's what I've found thus far:
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Reply to
Don Foreman
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Don, NO ONE is going to say its OK - there might be a 0.000001% probability that it isnt - so they will automatically say NO. This applies to most situations, especially when your trying for, say, a building or planning permit.
My approach is just to say "Fuckit" and go ahead and do it. Your family can always get a refund on the thing if you kark it....
No, seriously, if it was a problem, it would have surfaced by now, so give it a go - if your worried, have someone nearby who can do CPR if its a lousy guess......
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
vk3bfa
Hey Wes, don't be a wimp - is this the spirit that made your country great - cant be, otherwise you would all be sitting back in England, worrying about being shipwrecked on the way to America.....
Theres a lot of RF around anyway, the place is flooded with it. Cell phones, power lines, radio transmitters - etc etc - and what if your neighbor fires up his welding apparatus?......
And Don's probably in better health than hes ever been, after giving up the smokes, lottsa exercise, eating properly - his main danger will be from being beaten to death by a jealous husband! And if you cant use your toys, is life worth living?
(Obviously, Don will make up his own mind on this one..........)
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
vk3bfa
My few experiences with tig have left tingles, expecially if I wasn't wearing a glove on both hands. Not so worried about MIG and SMAW.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
My first question when i read something like this is who wrote it and how thorough were they? This article gets five stars on both counts. As a fella that knows WAY too much about MAYO clinic, I can tell you to trust anything they endorse. Their methods are world class.
Now I'd still use a little extra common snese. If you use bare wet hands and stand in water while welding you know that you're in for a rude surprise. Personally, I'd take this idea the complete other way and use neoprene gloves and stand on a rubber mat.
Or as option "B" , "the Kid" may be the best TIG welder around. He owes me favors. I owe you favors. he works five miles from your house. Of course, your better 1/2 would have to feed him, and that's not easy.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
On Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:07:35 -0600, the infamous Don Foreman scrawled the following:
What, the tinfoil suit and hat don't catch enough for ya, huh, Don?
I'd want at least 2 grounded hands/wrists and a grounded body cover (perhaps an apron?) if it were my ICD. Safe > sorry.
That makes it sound safer.
Cookie-setting error.
-- Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life. --Jesse Lee Bennett
Reply to
Larry Jaques
"Gut feeling?" Is that the feeling one gets just before everything goes to black?
If Don is the smart man I think Don is, Don will not let Don's ego and the know it all attitude of others answer this question. Don will go to the doctor and ask that doctor or cardiologist. Either that, or we will put "ANDREW SAID IT WAS SAFE" on Don's tombstone.
Since a 5 way bypass, aortic valve replacement, broken back, and current ascending aortic aneurysm, I can personally say that anyone who doesn't slow down in the face of serious medical situations is an idiot with a death wish. Don't mean you have to sit in the recliner in the closet, you just pay more attention to the WALK/DON'T WALK signs. There's a lot of things I've given up that don't make me think in any way that life is any the less worth living. I used to be a commercial diver, and have more time in a decompression chamber than a lot of scuba divers have underwater. On Christmas week, I was snorkeling on Kauai. Many times. I was dying to go scuba diving, but thought that I might just do that exactly, and didn't want to put anyone ELSE in the position of having to take care of me. If one's life is not worth living if they can't weld, then that life has to be pretty shallow. I don't think Don qualifies on that.
And Don, go ask the doc, and do what he says. Some here have enough experience to give you valid advice. The others are talking through their Carharts. The best advice is to ask the doc and do what HE says. He's done pretty good so far, hasn't he?
Be well.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
A Google of "tig welding and pacemakers" brings up a lot of things. A lot of guys say they weld with pacemakers and no ill effects. Thing is, pacemakers like hearing aids are being changed and improved all the time. So, all statements are not an across the board thing. What works for one person may not for another. And some may be more delicate and sensitive than others. And everyone doesn't have the same problem or body.
Check with the doctor, Don.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
One wonders if it would be worthwhile to talk to the manufacturer of the pacemaker?
I agree that is it a good idea to find out for sure, but this could be a "cover your ass" situation, where the doctor may not want to say yes, only to later see the patient "die when TIG welding" and get sued.
Better safe than sorry, would be a good approach here, though.
Reply to
Ignoramus6829
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Contact the manufacturer of the ACTUAL unit. Talk to the folks who do the testing and see what they say. You don't want to talk to the normal customer service script readers.
The doctors will likely say NO because they don't know and want to cover their asses.
Reply to
Steve W.
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Please note that the first article was written in 1995 which means that the data will be at least 15 years out of date. The specific Medtronic models are probably no longer in use. Second, TIG or MIG were *not* specifically mentioned. Third, if you accept their findings and recommendations as applicable to *your* system can you really and reliably keep the arc away by 61 cm? I know I cannot! Also, do you enjoy "delivered therapy" (read: inappropriate shocks)?
I am sorry I cannot comment on the second article which the web site will not open for me.
This is a highly subspecialized field. Your best bet, as others advised, is to talk to your pacemaker clinic doctor, nurse and the rep of the company that made your defib. The company reps can be especially helpful in un-earthing arcane research items etc.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
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Seconded - When in doubt, they will say No. Especially if their malpractice insurance provider hears about the question.
You need someone who can say Yes if at all possible. Most likely you need a team approach, probably your doctor and the research staff at the pacemaker manufacturer. They need to analyze the exact body (yours) the exact equipment installed, and be very familiar with the exact usage you want to do, and come up with a list of things to mitigate the risks.
Or analyze it enough to say what is Absolutely Verboten, probably the only thing would be TIG with HF. That stuff will jump gaps and "Reach out and Touch you" but good.
And what you can do, which is probably everything else - as long as you take extra precautions to not be part of the circuit.
IMHO the minimum precautions would be Class 0 or better (tested and rated) Electrical insulating gloves under your welding gauntlets, standing on rubber or vinyl insulating mats, no resting your elbows on a grounded welding table.
And if you weld Stick, rig up a foot switch and a contactor so the stinger is dead except when you want to weld. That's why I never bought a Tombstone Welder - I don't like the thought of the stinger staying hot, too many chances for a big OOPS!
The thing to avoid at all costs is current through the body trunk - arm to legs going right past the heart & pacemaker would be the worst.
The doctors might suggest a chain-mail vest or coverlet, or something lighter like a vest made of the woven Kevlar and Stainless fabric used for butcher's cut-protective gloves and clothing - something to cut down the RF radiation making it to the upper body.
(A tinfoil vest would be too cliche, and probably ineffective. And copper foil or screen mesh would be a pain.)
Remember that all electric based welding is a spark-gap transmitter spraying random RF Hash all over the EM spectrum, and it can only be tuned and controlled so much.
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
One of the RF protective suits used by tower crews working with love transmitters would probable do the job. The same for the suits used by the folks fixing transmission lines from helis.
Both are probably far in excess of what is actually required though, and just not wrapping the welding leads around your chest is probably enough, though I doubt you'll get anyone with any authority to take that stand due to paranoia.
DC to Daylight...
Reply to
Pete C.
They are somewhat inseparable, and it is the RF that would be picked up by the heart leads more than EM.
Reply to
Pete C.
I shall talk to the Dr. on Friday ... but I suspect that he'll know about as much about electrical engineering and welding as I know about cardiology. The docs I've had the good fortune to work with have not been particularly legally gunshy, tending to say what they know and what they think fairly openly.
The article from the JACC (Journal of the Americal College of Cardiology) was most illuminating in that it cited quantitative data -- millivolts, amperes, flux density (in gauss rather than Tesla, well they are cardiologists). Current levels cited there 900A) are considerably higher than any I ever employ.
Anecdotal reports are that it's not usually a problem and if it is a problem it won't fry the device or its user: advice is if you feel light-headed or wierd, just stop welding.
Medtronic HQ is right here in Fridley, if I could figure out a way to talk to an engineer there. All the guys I knew that worked there are retired now.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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I just realized that I do know someone at Medtronic. I think she's an MD. Her husband was a colleague of mine and I saw them both just a couple of months ago.
Reply to
Don Foreman
That sounds reasonable but, 'you bet your life on it'. Be a careful man and do the research. I sure would miss your posts.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
How about a different approach. Others have mentioned a conductive suit. Shield your welder and welding leads. Greenfield flex conduit over most of the cable with shielded Zippertubing over the rest. More difficult to use the welder, of course, but _perhaps_ a significant reduction in radiation is enough. The key is to find out what levels the medical device is required to withstand. The manufacturer is more likely to tell you the test standard than to tell you it's okay to engage in an activity over which they have no control.
This page has some standard levels, and compared to the death ray business (200v/meter is common) the field strength the medical devices have to stand is next to nothing.
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If in doubt, don't. There are lots of other things to enjoy.
Kevin Gallimore
Reply to
axolotl

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