Hybrid, Electric Vehicles Do Not Affect Implanted Cardiac Devices
March 11, 2013

Cardiac Devices Not Affected By Hybrid Cars, Study Claims

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Good news for those who require implanted cardiac devices to lower the risk of sudden death from heart attacks but still want to help out the environment when they´re behind the wheel of an automobile — driving a hybrid or electric car will not adversely affect a person´s cardiac implant.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona report that they have discovered no evidence suggesting that hybrid or full-electric vehicles interfere with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) — devices that are somewhat similar to pacemakers and help lower the risk of sudden cardiac death due to uncoordinated muscle contractions or tachycardia in the ventricles.

The preliminary study, which was presented Saturday at the annual American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting in San Francisco, was “prompted by an awareness of the growing popularity of fuel-saving hybrid cars,” according to The Inquisitr.

As part of the study, a team led by cardiologist Dr. Luis R. Scott and cardiology fellow Dr. Fernando Tondato tested ICDs from three different manufacturers in a 2012 model Toyota Prius hybrid.

According to ScienceBlog, Scott and Tondato studied the heart implants while the car was accelerating and while it was decelerating, as well as when it was traveling at steady speeds of 30 and 60 miles per hour.

The goal was to determine whether or not cardiac patients with ICDs or similar devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators could safely travel in one of the hybrid or electric vehicles without being exposed to electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Thirty individuals participated in the study, and each one was constantly monitored while changing positions in the car as both driver and passenger. The Mayo Clinic team was attempting to find out whether or not there was at any time an interruption in the normal functionality of their heart devices.

While the study results demonstrated that the Prius did not generate any “clinically relevant amounts of EMI,” they feel that additional research into the subject is required.

“Further studies may be necessary to evaluate the interaction between implantable devices and other models of hybrid or electric cars,” Dr. Scott said in a statement.

In addition, the ACC has awarded a special honor to a poster presented at the conference that summarized the work of the Mayo Clinic researchers. That poster was named as a 2013 “Best Fellows In Training (FIT) Poster,” which places it in the upper three percent scoring percentile of abstracts accepted for presentation at the event.