|[AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?|
jcandela at prodigy.net
Fri Mar 4 07:42:23 EST 2005
I used to work in a EMI lab where we would test military gear for EMC.
That was back in the late 80's when the standard test criteria was mil-std
461. We would test in a RF proof chamber (metal walls) and would bombard the
unit under test with RF from 14 Khz to 18 Ghz at high field strength.
Everything tested failed at some frequency and at some field strength. We
would also test by conducting RF into the wiring. This was a ham radio
operator paradise where an array of amplifiers, antennas, spectrum
analyzers, etc. were used daily. My ham radio knowledge paid off too where
sometimes we had to clean up the RF with quarter wave stubs, filters, etc.
because the broad band amplifiers often passed on harmonics at only -20 db
I guess the point is that although medical devices implanted in our body
can be life saving, given the right circumstances they also might do the
opposite. I hope that the manufacturers test the heck out of this stuff
similar to what I used to do with military gear in the old emi lab.
I sure miss that job..
From: amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net
[mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net]On Behalf Of Ed Berbari
Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2005 4:16 PM
To: Discussion of AM Radio
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?
The interference problem between RF sources and medical devices is real, but
fortunately a declining one. For many years the medical device industry did
not do a good job in their designs but most devices were in a controlled
enviroment. However the medical devices have moved to the real world with
such devices as pacemakers, etc.
A lot of the intereference has to do with the mode of modulation. The newer
digital phones can actually have peak power outputs of 10-12 Watts and
indeed could cause some problems with devices like pacemakers. This problem
was identified early on and there has been a fix.
However the risk can be real. http://www.ou.edu/engineering/emc/
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim candela" <jcandela at prodigy.net>
To: "Discussion of AM Radio" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 7:12 AM
Subject: RE: [AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?
> 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
> 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?
> 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
> 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
> 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
> Side note: If his insulin pump was creating interference, and causing me
> trouble receiving the Collins net this Wednesday, would it be appropriate
> ask my brother to turn that darn thing off? :-)
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