Motor On, Heart Patients: Electric Cars Don't Harm Cardiac Implants

From Drugs.com - November 13, 2017

Motor On, Heart Patients: Electric Cars Do not Harm Cardiac Implants

MONDAY, Nov. 13, 2017 -- Heart patients who have bought an all-electric Tesla need not worry that their car might interfere with their implanted defibrillator.

That's the finding from a new study of 34 seniors who had the devices, which help guard against dangerous irregular heartbeats.

The study "demonstrates the safety of the Tesla electric vehicle in patients with cardiac defibrillators and is the first step in establishing that these vehicles are safe for patients with cardiac devices," said Dr. Apoor Patel, a cardiologist who reviewed the findings.

Patel directs cardiac electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He believes the study will "need to be replicated [in] other vehicles," but also noted that "the Tesla generated the most electrical activity during charging."

The new study was led by Drs. Thein Tun Aung and Abdul Wase, of Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. The findings were to be presented Monday in Anaheim, Calif., at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

As Patel noted, "although electric vehicles are a small part of the total U.S. car market, sales are growing 30 to 40 percent annually." And there's been concern that electric vehicle technologies might somehow interfere with pacemakers and implanted defibrillators.

To help settle the question, the Dayton team tracked outcomes for 26 men and eight women, averaging 69 years of age. All had an implanted cardiac defibrillator.

The participants' devices were monitored for electromagnetic interference as they were in or near a Tesla S P90D as it was charged at a 220 volt charging station. People were tested in a variety of positions -- sitting in the driver's seat, passenger seat, backseat and while next to the charging port.


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