[AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?


Tony Golda ka7ius at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 5 05:22:39 EST 2005


   Hello,

          In  a  three  way  conversation  between  an  engineer,  and  a
   represenitive of a company that makes the Vargas nerve stimulater, (an
   implanted  device used to control epilepsy.) I was told that it wasn't
   the  devices  sensitivity  to  RF, BUT the lack of RF warning stickers
   posted!

         I  don't  want  to  get blamed for little Timmie down the street
   getting cancer because he was to young to read!

   Tony
   >From: "Ed Berbari" <eberbari at indy.rr.com>
   >Reply-To: Discussion of AM Radio <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
   >To: "Discussion of AM Radio" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
   >Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?
   >Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2005 22:35:04 -0500
   >
   >Jim,
   >
   >Your prior work sure sounds like it was fun.
   >
   >About  12  years  ago I got involved with some RF issues with medical
   devices
   >and  it  was  indeed  surprising  to  find out how little testing was
   done.  Some
   >is  beacuse  the  vast  majority  of  medical devices come from small
   companies.
   >For  example,  motorized wheel chairs back then used unshieled analog
   cables
   >to the joystick controller and there were several examples of RF
   >interference    from    passing   cars   with   trasmitters   (police
   cars)  causing these
   >devices  to  unlock  their brakes.  In this period the FDA was barely
   equipped
   >do do this testing.
   >
   >Newer  devices  are  designed with greater awareness of these issues,
   but there
   >are  still  a  lot  of  legacy  devices out there.  I got particulary
   involved
   >with  the  cell  phone/pacemaker  problem  back  then  as well. Those
   devices have
   >been significantly improved since then.  I know nothing about modern
   >infusion pumps, but there wer many susceptable ones in the past.
   >
   >Ed,  W9EJB
   >
   >
   >----- Original Message -----
   >From: "Jim candela" <jcandela at prodigy.net>
   >To: "Discussion of AM Radio" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
   >Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 7:42 AM
   >Subject: RE: [AMRadio] Insulin Pump RFI?
   >
   >
   > >
   > > Ed,
   > >
   >  >    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
   > > down.
   > >
   >  >   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..
   > >
   > > Regards,
   > > Jim
   > >
   > >
   > > -----Original Message-----
   > > 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?
   > >
   > >
   > > Gentleman,
   > >
   > > 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/
   > >
   > > Ed, W9EJB
   > >
   > > ----- 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
   > > > 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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   2/27/2005
   > > >
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