Don't place a cell phone within six inches of your implanted defibrillator when the phone is on. The defibrillator could misinterpret the cell phone's signal as a heartbeat and withhold pacing. You can talk safely on the cell phone as long as it is at least six inches from the defibrillator. The defibrillator may set off airport and other types of security systems, so be sure to carry the card that identifies you as a defibrillator patient to show security personnel. Handheld metal detectors contain magnets that may interfere with defibrillators—ask security personnel to scan you for less than 30 seconds or, better yet, search you by hand. Some medical equipment also may interfere with a defibrillator—be sure your doctor and the technician know about the unit if you need an MRI or other procedure involving electromagnetic energy.

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