FAQ

Can I go through security systems such as those found in airports?

Given the short duration of security screening, it is unlikely that your heart device will be affected by metal detectors (walk-through archways and hand-held wands) or full-body imaging scanners (also called millimetre wave scanners and 3D imaging scanners) such as those found in airports, large venues and courthouses.

The metal case of your heart device could set off a metal detector. To minimize the risk of temporary interference with your heart device while going through the security screening process, avoid touching metal surfaces around any screening equipment. Do not stop or linger in a walk-through archway; simply walk through the archway at a normal pace.

If a hand-held wand is used, ask the security operator not to hold it over your heart device and not to wave it back and forth over your heart device. You may also request a hand search as an alternative. If you have concerns about these security screening methods, show your device ID card, request an alternative screening, and then follow the instructions of the security personnel.

Can I walk through the security screening equipment?

Always carry your heart device ID card. This card is helpful if your heart device sets off a metal detector or a security system.

Are there any restrictions on travel to a foreign country?

Wherever you travel, your heart device monitors your heart and provides therapy whenever it is needed. You can travel knowing that support for your heart device is available around the world. Your doctor may also be able to check your heart device remotely, so it may be a good idea to let your doctor know when and where you will be traveling.

Are body scanners at the airport safe?

Full body imaging scanners (also called millimeter wave scanners and 3D imaging scanners) are used in airports, courthouses, prisons and other public facilities. Your ICD is not likely to be affected because the scanning takes only a short time.

Will an aviation transponder receiver (ADS-B) affect my ICD?

Aviation transponder receivers are used to track the location of an aircraft. They are designed to receive signals only from aircraft transponders and pose no threat to your ICD.

Will cosmic rays affect my ICD? I fly a lot!

Cosmic rays consist of high-energy radiation that strikes the earth from space. Most of these flares and rays are absorbed in the atmosphere and are unlikely to affect an ICD once they reach the ground.

Can I tour the Hoover Dam?

Hoover Dam policy recommends that people with implanted ICDs do not tour the dam because of its 60Hz magnetic field. The magnetic environment within other hydroelectric plants, however, may differ so check with them to see what their policies are for people with ICDs. Being around such strong magnetic fields may result in your ICD delivering an inappropriate shock. Tour a non-hydroelectric dam if you want to see how great quantities of water are held back through the marvels of human engineering.

Can I drive a hybrid (or electric) car?

No inappropriate interactions between ICDs and hybrid vehicles have been reported, so it’s a low risk.

Can I go on a cruise ship?

Aye, mate. Go right ahead.

Can I go skiing?

Skiing will not interfere with your device, but do speak with your doctor before you start schussing. While many patients go back to their favorite activities-after a full recovery, of course-there are activities that cause concern.

Can I ride a tram to the top of a mountain?

Yes. Riding on a train or tram poses a very low risk of interference with an ICD. However, we recommend talking to your cardiologist before your journey up the mountain, as there are lower oxygen levels at high altitudes.

Do extreme temperatures affect my ICD?

No. Not only is your ICD built to withstand stress, but your body temperature stays fairly constant as well.

How deep can I scuba dive?

Exposure to pressures greater than 4 ATA is not recommended. That means diving no deeper than about 100 feet or 30 meters in seawater. Talk to your doctor about that and about any other concerns with scuba diving and your heart condition.

Can I skydive?

First of all, congratulations on your bravery.

Can I go through airport security?

Always carry your heart device ID card. This card is helpful if your heart device sets off a metal detector or a security system.

Can I travel?

Wherever you travel, your heart device monitors your heart and provides therapy whenever it is needed. You can travel knowing that support for your heart device is available around the world. Your doctor may also be able to check your heart device remotely, so it may be a good idea to let your doctor know when and where you will be traveling.