Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Cellular Telephones May Interfere With Medical Devices

Date:
January 9, 2001
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A study by Mayo Clinic researchers found that cellular telephones interfered with the operation of external devices that monitor the heart and lungs, however, in most instances, the interference was not sufficient to meaningfully hinder interpretation of data.

ROCHESTER, MINN. — A study by Mayo Clinic researchers found that cellular telephones interfered with the operation of external devices that monitor the heart and lungs, however, in most instances, the interference was not sufficient to meaningfully hinder interpretation of data.

The most severe interference occurred when the cellular telephone was held one to two inches from the most vulnerable area of external cardiopulmonary monitoring devices. Interference of some extent was measured in seven of the 17 devices (41 percent). Among the 526 tests, interference was deemed clinically important in 7.4 percent. Researchers recommend that additional testing be conducted. Clinically important was defined as any interference that might hinder interpretation of data or cause the equipment to malfunction.

"When additional testing is completed, policies regarding cellular phone usage within the hospital environment can be constructed objectively," concluded David L. Hayes, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and one of the study's authors.

The banning of cellular telephones within hospitals has not been based on objective experimental or clinical testing, but on theoretical concerns that wireless technology could interfere with medical equipment, the study’s authors said. Considerable research has been done on the potential interactions of wireless technology and implanted devices.

Research on the interaction of the cellular telephone and external equipment in a hospital has been general and inconclusive.

The study appears in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

If a cellular phone is used at some reasonable distance (60 inches in the study) from electrical equipment within the patient’s room or central nursing stations, it is unlikely that any serious malfunction would occur, the researchers hypothesized.

David Herman, M.D., a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist and John Abenstein, M.D., a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, wrote the editorial that accompanies the study’s findings. They write, "it would seem reasonable either to limit or to ban the use of cellular phones in the vicinity of medical electronic devices where patients are particularly vulnerable, such as the intensive care unit and operating unit, until safety of these devices can be reasonably proven." Banning the use of the devices in a patient’s room or procedure area would be a modest precaution, the editorialists wrote.

The Mayo Clinic researchers said cell phone-related interference was seen in the electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings displayed on the physiologic monitor. It occurred at a six to 33-inches from the monitor. If the cellular telephone was held beyond a radius of five feet, these researchers hypothesize ECG interpretation would not be compromised. The most disturbing interference related to cell phones causing a mechanical ventilator to malfunction. Specifically, when the phones were held two inches away from a communication port on the back of the ventilator, the ventilator shut down and restarted.

Digital and analog cellular telephones were tested in the study. Digital phones tended to produce noise on the baseline readings, while analog phones primarily produced movement on the baseline readings of the monitors. Digital phones produced some movement on the baseline.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic Study Finds Cellular Telephones May Interfere With Medical Devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010109075859.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2001, January 9). Mayo Clinic Study Finds Cellular Telephones May Interfere With Medical Devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010109075859.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic Study Finds Cellular Telephones May Interfere With Medical Devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010109075859.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) — The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins