(HealthDay News) – Use of an iPad2 can trigger magnet mode in defibrillators, and may result in suspension of anti-tachycardia therapy, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society, held from May 8–11 in Denver.

Gianna Chien, from Lincoln High School in Stockton, CA, and colleagues, including her father Walter Chien, M.D., a cardiologist at Central Valley Arrhythmia in Stockton, examined whether the magnets embedded in the body and cover of the iPad2 can cause electromagnetic interference in a cardiac rhythm device (CRD). The effect of the iPad2 on CRDs in their original packages was assessed. To further examine the effect of the iPad2, 19 subjects, including 16 with defibrillators, two with pacemakers, and one with a loop recorder, were asked to hold the iPad2 at reading distance and on top of their chest to mimic falling asleep while using an iPad2.

The researchers found that, whilst in the package, the iPad2 caused triggering of magnet mode on defibrillators, resulting in suspension of anti-tachycardia therapy. Overall, 18.8% of patients with defibrillators had magnet mode trigger; two only exhibited magnet mode trigger, while an additional subject exhibited magnet mode trigger followed by initiation of the non-invasive program stimulation mode. In packaged or implanted CRDs, no noise or oversensing was noted. Effects were not observed in pacemakers or loop recorders.

“Since tablets are becoming more common, I hope these findings will encourage patients who have or may be a candidate for implantable defibrillators to talk to their doctor about precautions if they use a tablet like the iPad2,” Gianna said in a statement.

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