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VOLUME 12 , ISSUE 4 ( December, 2008 ) > List of Articles


Effects of mobile phone use on specific intensive care unit devices

Farhad N. Kapadia, Nidhi Hans

Keywords : Electromagnetic interference, mobile phone and infusion pumps, mobile phone and ventilator, mobile phones in ICU setting

Citation Information : Kapadia FN, Hans N. Effects of mobile phone use on specific intensive care unit devices. Indian J Crit Care Med 2008; 12 (4):170-173.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45077

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2008; The Author(s).


Background and Aims: To observe the effects of mobile phone use in the vicinity of medical devices used in a critical care setting. Subjects and Methods: Electromagnetic interference (EMI) was tested by using two types of mobile phones - GSM and CDMA. Mobile phones were placed at a distance of one foot from three medical devices - syringe pump, mechanical ventilator, and the bedside monitor - in switch off, standby, and talking modes of the phone. Medical devices were observed for any interference caused by the electromagnetic radiations (EMR) from the mobile phones. Results: Out of the three medical devices that were tested, EMI occurred while using the mobile phone in the vicinity of the syringe pump, in the ′talk mode.′ The mean variation observed in the calculated and delivered volume of the syringe pump was 2.66 ml. Mechanical ventilator did not show any specific adverse effects with mobile phone use in the one-foot vicinity. No other adverse effects or unexplained malfunctions or shutdown of the syringe pump, mechanical ventilator, or the bedside monitor was noted during the study period of 36 hours. Conclusion: EMI from mobile phones have an adverse effect on the medical devices used in critical care setup. They should be used at least one foot away from the diameter of the syringe pump.

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