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OK I am upset to even write this but I am in Dallas with my father in the hospital. We were both here and he had a large heart attack -- we cannot leave for several weeks at minimum. Today they are wanting to implant a cardiodefibrillator pacemaker device.

Everything I have read about the Volt touched on the fact the thing pumps out more watts through the inverter than a commercial radio station transmitter. I can actually hear this energy while the car is running.

Is there any published data from GM on their testing of the Volt for safety with pacemakers etc.? I am very concerned about him going near the car with that thing. I know its supposed to be shielded but this is really a lot of EMF.

This is one of those times I wish there was a GM engineer on this site to give a full answer.
 

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Do a search for emf on this forum. It has been discussed at length and the consensus seems to be that the Volt's emf is lower than many ice automobiles.
 

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Best wishes for your father.

I understand your concern and can only report our experience: My dad had such a device and the car or anything else never interfered with it. I wouldn't confuse what you hear from the inverter with actual EM radiation.
 

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I got no experience with pacemakers. You can google pacemakers and electric cars. Lots of discussions out in the Internet. But for the real scoop try contacting the pacemaker manufacturer and see if they've done any testing with the the volt or other electric cars. My guess they have. Maybe GM has some info also, try contacting a volt advisor to find out if/where they may have some info. Good luck and hope your dad is feeling better.
 

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You might be able to get an official answer from your Volt Advisor.
Their main number is 866-754-8100. Open M-F 9am - 9pm eastern.
Speedy recovery for your dad.

KNS
 

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I can absolutely guarantee that your dad's pacemaker won't hurt the Volt.

I can almost absolutely guarantee that the Volt won't impact your father's pacemaker. Speaking as an electrical engineer, if you aren't trying to emit electromagnetic energy, it's pretty hard for it to escape from the wires. The Volt battery is electrically shielded from the car cabin. Power cables are run together and doing so cancels out their magnetic fields. Conversely, it's pretty difficult for a small unit (such as a pacemaker) to pick up the low frequency signals (1 MHz or less) that the Volt's power train would emit.

Contacting GM might be a good idea; contacting the pacemaker manufacturer might be also. But, I'd be surprised if either express concern.

The warnings about microwave ovens was another thing altogether. The magnetrons in there are designed to emit, and a leaky oven could emit a significant amount of energy. And, since those wavelengths (about 5 inches or so) ARE short enough to easily couple to a small unit such as a pacemaker. That's why those warnings were around.
 

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A couple of older threads on this
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...he-Tahoe-and-Cobalt&highlight=electromagnetic
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...rically-powered-implants...&p=45873#post45873

In the end the Volt meets very high international standards for EMI emissions and it is doubtful that the low levels created could ever cause issue with a pacemaker. (you reference to it's emissions being excessive and greater than a radio station are totally unfounded)
For more information see your owners manual (there is a statement there) or contact your Volt Advisor

WOT
 

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Hah! I was just about to post this quote:

A couple of older threads on this
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...he-Tahoe-and-Cobalt&highlight=electromagnetic
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...rically-powered-implants...&p=45873#post45873

In the end the Volt meets very high international standards for EMI emissions and it is doubtful that the low levels created could ever be "detected" (i.e. symptoms) by human physiology.
For more information see your owners manual or contact your Volt Advisor

WOT
 

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The purpose of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator is to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm should vtach/vfib occur due to the heart muscle damage. ALL implanted defibrillators have a pacemaker function built in as a back up, in case the heart, after receiving a shock, momentarily becomes "stunned" and doesn't know what to do. (Most Backup pacing is at a rate of 40 beats per minute.)

The real issue with a defibrillator is being too close to a strong magnetic field. Defibrillators (ICD's) have a magnetic switch inside them that blinds the device to an abnormal or lethal heart rhythm should one occur, so that the ICD doesn't detect it, charge up and shock. We use very strong magnets placed directly over the device in the hospital when someone comes in with inappropriate shocking of their ICD, to blind the device, essentially turning it off.

Having said that, I highly doubt that sitting or standing anywhere in or near a running Volt would place someone's implanted device SO close to a magnetic field that it would be strong enough to do the same thing as explained above. I realize there is likely a pretty good sized magnetic field around the vehicle anyway, but I would question its true strength. You can try contacting a few of the ICD manufacturers ( For example, Medtronic, Boston Scientific or Guidant) as they have good customer service/help lines and may have already done some research in that particular area.

If you do find anything out, please post!


And best wishes to your father for a successful recovery!
 

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Here is to a speedy recovery for your Dad.

IMHO, in today's litigious society, if it was remotely dangerous for someone with a pacemaker or other electronic device to sit in or near an EV I have to believe there would be warnings all over the place for it. But that wouldn't stop me from asking the pacemaker companies and Chevy/GM about it either. (as other users have mentioned)
 

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...The real issue with a defibrillator is being too close to a strong magnetic field. Defibrillators (ICD's) have a magnetic switch inside them that blinds the device to an abnormal or lethal heart rhythm should one occur, so that the ICD doesn't detect it, charge up and shock. We use very strong magnets placed directly over the device in the hospital when someone comes in with inappropriate shocking of their ICD, to blind the device, essentially turning it off.

Having said that, I highly doubt that sitting or standing anywhere in or near a running Volt would place someone's implanted device SO close to a magnetic field that it would be strong enough to do the same thing as explained above. I realize there is likely a pretty good sized magnetic field around the vehicle anyway, but I would question its true strength.
There are two reasons that there won't be strong magnetic fields in a Volt (or pretty much any other car):
1) The magnetic field near a magnet falls as 1/CUBE of the distance. Magnetic fields tend to stay VERY localized.
2) Any of the strong magnetic fields will be confined to the motors. For the motors, any magnetic field that "escapes" from the motor represents a loss of efficiency. Motor designers try very carefully to contain the magnetic field within the motor.

Personal electronics that have a speaker in them are likely a bigger risk than the Volt. I suspect a cell phone, if near to the body, would have a far larger magnetic field than being in a Volt.

The magnetic field required to change a reed switch won't be found inside Volt (unless, perhaps, you cuddle up real close to one of the stereo speakers).
 

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I'd be more worried about the speakers.

I'm curious now though, to see what happens to a compass inside the vehicle while driving :p
 

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FYI, Bipolar (vs unipolar) pacemakers are more resistant to EMI.

Car makers invest heavily in EMI shielding, grounding, and filtering, even to prevent crosstalk withing the car's own systems.

You'll find there are many, many (most) items in everyday life emit some EMI. The rule of thumb seems to be to keep speakers, refrigerator magnets, etc. 1-6 inches (3cm -15cm) away from the pacemaker to prevent interference A great PDF article here with charts on common items and their relation to pacemaker EMI: http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/13783.pdf

Stay 12 inches away from a spark plug and don't do any arc welding. Auto aftermarket items like dashcam transformers and some HID conversion kit ballasts would be worrisome. But again, distance makes a huge difference.

Even if there is interference, it may only affect the rhythm rather than stopping the device,
 

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I can see why the OP might have some concerns asking the question. But I doubt the Volt has significantly higher EMF sources than most other modern luxury cars. The most likely source of EMF in a Volt would probably be the spark plug wires or ignition coils on the iCE. They carry over 50,000 volts and produce a "lightning storm" under the hood. But modern cars have shielding and other technology to prevent EMF radiation.

But if the Volt were a significant source of EMF then the GPS, OnStar, Cell Phones, Bluetooth, WiFi and AM/FM Radio would not work either. The fact that all of these radio frequency devices operate normally is proof that the car does not radiate significant EMF in those RF bands.

Low frequency magnetic fields might be a worry. But I think the metal body of the car probably provides adequate shielding. Carrying a cell phone next to the pacemaker is probably a much larger source of concern. (In my opinion.)
 

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Carrying a cell phone next to the pacemaker is probably a much larger source of concern. (In my opinion.)
Third-generation (3G) mobile phones introduced in 1998 are considered safe for patients with a pacemaker. This is due to the high frequency band for this system (1,800–2,200 MHz) and the low power output between 0.01 and 0.25 W. The 4G phone generations introduced in 2008 are likely even better in this regard (5G will likely be introduced around 2018).


But yes, in general when in doubt just don't place the device directly on the pacemaker location. Keeping it a hand-width away seems like the going advice.

Keep in mind that mechanical and electrical shielding designed into pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), has, in most cases, enabled these medical devices to be immune to external electromagnetic interference (EMI) allowing the vast majority of patients to live their lives without the fear of EM device interactions. These device features include titanium casing, signal filtering, interference rejection circuits, feed through capacitors, noise reversion function, and programmable parameters.

In addition, pacemakers that use Bipolar sensing are more resistant to EMI than devices that use unipolar sensing. If I was getting a pacemaker I'd be looking into the way it senses (bi or unipolar) the heart's electrical signals.
 

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My dad has a pacemaker-defibrillator. Rides in my Volt all the time there's never been a hint that it's an issue. Carrying a cell phone is likely to be a bigger risk.
 
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