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Defibrillators & Hybrid Cars

My husband has a defibrillator implant & we were wondering what effect a hybrid car would have on it.

You need to ask your husband’s cardiologist and the car manufacturer. The issue is related to magnetic fields, and generally, today’s implanted devices have more shielding than they used to.

I have a pacemaker, and I wouldn’t worry about it, but my pacemaker isn’t a defibrillator.

I am pretty sure an occupant in a hybrid isn’t exposed to any magnetic fields that he or she isn’t also exposed to in a conventional car. With today’s implanted medical devices, you would have to lay the magnetic device (like a cell phone or an iPod) right on top of it to interfere with it.

I googled " defibrillators and hybrid cars " and this web site came up…hope this helps

Thanks. I’ll pass the info to my better half.

Thanks. I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be a problem, but one can never be too careful.

Since that article suggests the “smart key” is the most likely problem, I would try to find a hybrid without a “smart key.” Some of the cheaper hybrids (like the Insight and the maybe the Prius) might be available with a normal key.

On a related note, I recently asked my pacemaker nurse about getting an electric heated vest for motorcycling. Her response was that it would be fine as long as the power cord didn’t come too close to the device. My point is that, at first, I was pretty freaked out about things like standing near the microwave, or talking on a cell phone. Now, I frequently forget that I have a pacemaker.

If Hybrids are a problem, your husband’s cardiologist should know for sure based on patient feedback. Your husband’s cardiologist or defibrillator technician (nurse) can be a good source for myth-busting.

Thanks. We’re still in the research phase of getting a new car. I’m pretty sure there will be a lot more info available by the time we’re ready to choose a make/model.