Dr William Maisel, a cardiologist at the Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, caused heart-murmurs across the internet this weekend thanks to his claim that music player headphones could break pacemakers – and stop defibrillators restarting dodgy hearts.
It’s all because of the magnets in headphones, which could, possibly, if held very close to them, make pacemakers and other “embedded” medical devices stop working.
After testing eight models of headphones on 60 patients with pacemakers, the doctor found that nearly a quarter of patients’ heart devices suffered some sort of interference, which isn’t what you want to hear if your life depends on something with a watch battery inside it.
“I certainly don’t think people should overreact to this information,” Dr Maisel said, a little bit too late for us and everyone else on the internet today, before simply suggesting that people should keep electrical gadgets a little bit further away from any life-critical stuff they may have sewn into their bodies.
By Gary Cutlack | November 10th, 2008