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View Full Version : Anyone doing MIG/TIG who has a defibrilator/pacemaker?



carl_stevenson
10-26-2007, 08:44 PM
I have a substantial investment in gear (MIG/TIG/Stick/Plasma Cutter etc), but just have had to have a defibrilator/pacemaker implantedon Oct 9th.

The manufacturer of the device has a tech note that implies that if you keep the current to no more than 130 amps, twist the ground cable around the "hot" lead and clamp close to the weld (the idea here is to reduce the "loop area," reducing the magnetic field) that the device will likely not be affected.

They *assure* that the device will NOT be damaged or its programming altered.)The issue is whether the induced current in the leads of the device will be sensed as too rapid a heart rythm and cause it to "deliver therapy" (shock you) at an inappropriate time.

I was wondering if anyone here has personal experience with this with a current generation (most advanced) ICD/pacemaker?

I have oxyfuel welding/brazing capability, but electric welding is my preference and I'd rather not give it up if it can be done safely with a few precautions as outlined in the device manufacturer's tech note.

I realize that you're not doctors, but personal experience is valuable information, too ...

Steve Nuttall
10-26-2007, 08:54 PM
I have very personal experience with this. The manufacturer of my ICD says the same thing . I have had mine for three years now and have had absoultely NO PROBLEMS.. I have even been doing some higher amperages witout any trouble.. If you have any questions let me know...

uncrichie
10-27-2007, 09:06 AM
I really can't understand why you gentleman would even think about risking your lives. I hope I haven't offended anyone but why take the chance. I'm sure there are people in your lives that would not want you to push the envelope. Uncrichie.

largely
10-27-2007, 09:39 AM
I've had a pacer for 5 years now. I had the same questions about arc welding and it's effect on pacemakers.
My experience has been that it's not a problem. I've done lots of tig and mig in the 200 amp range and felt no ill effects. Try not to get between the cables and keep amps as low as possible. Certainly discuss this with your cardioligist and the supplier of your device as it may be different than mine. Best of luck to you.

Larry

kenc
10-27-2007, 10:31 PM
Which manufacturer/model of ICD do you Gentlemen have? Just curious as I designed the integrated circuit "chips" for the first third generation ICD back in the mid eighties.
Actually spent twelve years designing ICD chips up till the late nineties, and have a number of patents (12?) related to doing so. Of course, all of the models I worked on are no longer current but I am always interested to hear of ICD "customers".
ken

Nickoli
10-27-2007, 11:38 PM
I really can't understand why you gentleman would even think about risking your lives. I hope I haven't offended anyone but why take the chance. I'm sure there are people in your lives that would not want you to push the envelope. Uncrichie.

Oh but why not? What a way to go...with a set of welding leads in your hands! On a more serious note test the effects in small doses until you know if any ill effects. Also have somebody around just incase there is a problem that arises. I have an older buddy with a pace maker and he has never seen any issues while welding. However his doctor issued warnings about being around junk yard cranes with electro magnets.

Critter
10-30-2007, 12:55 AM
I really can't understand why you gentleman would even think about risking your lives. I hope I haven't offended anyone but why take the chance. I'm sure there are people in your lives that would not want you to push the envelope. Uncrichie.
If you ain't been there, you can't know. I've ha four heart attacks and a stroke, they tell me I can't work, I'm goin down fightin!

1990notch
10-30-2007, 09:11 AM
If you ain't been there, you can't know. I've ha four heart attacks and a stroke, they tell me I can't work, I'm goin down fightin!

Exactly.

I live to do what I love. Fabricating things has been a part of me since I was 7 years old. If I couldn't do that anymore, I'd go crazy.

uncrichie
10-30-2007, 02:39 PM
Ya know, you guys are right after all. Rest in Peace. Uncrihcie.

Portable Welder
10-30-2007, 05:45 PM
Heres my take on it, I am 100% guessing so beware of my advise.

I have been tig welding since around 1992 when I bought my first machine. You may be OK doing steel, but the high frequincy from tig aluminum and when doing steel where your machine is on High freq start, over the years has messed with the radio, cell phone, answering machine, TV, Beepers.

I would certainly stay clear of the High freq from the tig machines, doing mig welding and arc welding has never messed with any of my electrical equipment that I could tell, even though the tig never hurt my phones or beepers, it has change the time on me caused the answering machine to go off when no one called.

I'm assuming all of you guys know that and were just talking about mig and arc welding but I'm just double checking.

I would think that scratch start tig or lift arc would be equal to arc weling or mig welding because I dont think any high freq is present in that situation.

Remeber I am only stating affects I have found on my electrical equipment.

Definately confirm with the pace maker manufacturer and the DR.

I couldnt imagine not being able to weld again, I would also want to know if I'm allowed.
I realize its safer for the manufacturer to say no dont ever weld again for their insurance liability reasons, but on the other hand you say to yourself are they just being overly cautious to protect their butt.

carl_stevenson
11-02-2007, 09:58 PM
Ya know, you guys are right after all. Rest in Peace. Uncrihcie.

Thanks for you kind best wishes :rolleyes:

My device is a Medtronic Virtuoso DR and I've spoken with their FAE and read their tech notes ... they do NOT give an absolute ban on welding, they give some guidelines to prevent potential issues.

The issues are: momentary inhibition of pacing (which for many is not a really big deal ... as long as it's brief) and the administration of "inappropriate" shocks from the defib part (which is, as I understand it unpleasant as ****).

They are VERY firm that there is NO danger of damaging the device or changing its programming - only a momentary disruption in operation.

Their main concern seems to be that some individuals might get dizzy if pacing were momentarially interrupted or that some might get a shock that they didn't need. (Neither is desirable, but apparently they are unlikely/rare if the proper precautions are followed.)

Note, this is just my understanding from the information supplied by the manufacturer of my device ... I am NOT a doctor, am not giving medical advice, and if someone has a different device their manufacturer's advice might be different.

hrdhatdivr
11-04-2007, 07:55 AM
welding is not your problem . just become part of the curcuit and then you are the problem .i guess you can take precautions , rubber mats cables with no brakes . you can even install a knife switch to break the curcuit to change rods . my to cents . adapt and overcome