[AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?


Jim candela jcandela at prodigy.net
Mon Feb 28 07:12:35 EST 2005


I asked my brother, a diabetic, about radio interference to his insulin
pump. He is a lawyer, and I hoped to get a legal answer to a hypothetical
case where he went into insulin shock as a result of my being on the air
waves:


Question:

 John,

   A hypothetical case. Your my neighbor with a
 insulin pump, and I am a federally licensed ham radio
 operator. I am transmitting within the law on a
 licensed frequency, running legal power, etc. Your
 pump is susceptible to strong radio waves... One day I
 am talking on the air, and while talking, a ambulance
 takes you away. Seems your in insulin shock due to a
 pump malfunction. Where is the law on this issue?

 Jim




Answer:

Jim,

You are a mad man.  Actually, from looking at the manual of this thing the
more likely problem is from the pump interfering with other devices using
radio frequencies.  The RFs on the pump are used to transmit readings from a
glucose test meter to the pump.  The book says that interference will not
affect the actual pump operation.  As to your question the manual says that
the pump must comply with Part 15 of the FCC rules and it must accept any
interference received.  That aside, if I survive in your scenario, look out!

John



Side note: If his insulin pump was creating interference, and causing me
trouble receiving the Collins net this Wednesday, would it be appropriate to
ask my brother to turn that darn thing off? :-)
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