[Practical questions around individual with a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator]

Presse Med. 2012 Jul;41(7-8):736-44. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2011.09.025. Epub 2011 Dec 3.
[Article in French]


An individual with a pacemaker can ask his GP for information about potential problems associated with the device. Should a pacemaker continue to be used by end-of-life patients? Should a pacemaker be stopped in a limited care situation? What precautions should be taken when treating a patient with a pacemaker? Pacemakers and implantable defibrillators are sensitive to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Medically, MRIs are theoretically contraindicated, even though examinations could be performed without a major problem, and special precautions should be taken when using an electrosurgical cutter or radiotherapy. In case of death, a doctor or embalmer must remove the patient's pacemaker due to its risk of explosion during cremation. Doctors who sign cremation forms have a legal obligation to provide such information. It may affect an employee's ability to work. Are there some professions that are not well suited for individuals with a pacemaker?

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aptitude / physiology
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraindications
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / statistics & numerical data
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Pacemaker, Artificial* / statistics & numerical data
  • Professional Practice* / standards
  • Professional Practice* / trends
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / methods
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy*