Can I Go Near Someone Who Is Welding After Having A Pacemaker Implanted?

Dr. Brian Olshansky answers the question: 'Welding With A Pacemaker?'

ByABC News
November 20, 2008, 4:52 PM

— -- Question: I have heard that welding and pacemakers do not go together. Can I still go near someone who is welding?

Answer: Well, yes you can, but there are certain precautions that you need to take.

For example, if you're near coiled wires that have high electrical current, they can interfere with normal pacemaker function and inhibit a pacemaker from functioning so that it will stop working temporarily.

If you're very close to arc welding -- I think it's called MIG and TIG welding -- this kind of electrical current can be a problem, again, by inhibiting pacemaker activity. It's best to stay 24 inches away from welding, so an arm's distance.

If you happen to be a welder with a pacemaker or defibrillator, it's best to use short bursts of welding and also to work in a dry area.