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malexander

EMI and DBS

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When I asked the Medtronic rep about metal detectors, she said that older stimulators were sometimes turned off by the electromagnetic interference (EMI), but that the worst that can happen with the current generation of stimulators is a surge of power that might be felt. My neurologist tells me that she is not aware of this, but that she has heard of even newer stimulators occasionally turned off by EMI.  That is the reason given for carrying our patient programmers when we travel.  To add to this confusion, I have had TSA personnel at airports tell me that the older metal detectors were problematic, but the newer security screening devices are safe for stimulators.

 

Can you help clear up my confusion about this issue?

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The newer Medtronic batteries seem to be very safe with metal detectors and screeners and rarely turn off from interference.  The great part of always carrying the remote is that if you worsen, you can quickly check the device to be sure it is on.

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My wife spent many years working in the aviation industry (flight crew/training), and we've done a lot of flying before, and after my DBS surgery. What I've found is just let the TSA person know that you have an implanted device, and that you would prefer to go through the big body scanner, or if the airport doesn't have one? a quick pat down. I've found that they will almost bend over backward to accommodate you. Oh, contrary to what you might, or might not have heard? the standard arch metal detectors WILL turn your DBS off. I found that out the one time they made me go through the metal detector at FSD Sioux Falls, SD one morning when TSA was short staffed, and bingo, I had to turn myself back on after. I had the same thing happen at the local social security office, and the court house, thus, I always let them know I have a device implanted, and need a pat down. I've never had any problems that way, and they've always been courteous.

Oh, and My DBS was installed last December.

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