Skip to Main Content
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) to critical care medical devices has been reported by various groups. Previuos studies have demonstrated that infusion and syringe pumps are susceptible of false alarm buzzing and block, when exposed to various EMI sources. Whether these events may have clinical relevance is still debated. The risk of EMI depends on several factors such as phone emitted power, distance and carrier frequency. We investigated the EMI on infusion and siringe pumps from GSM phones at various distances and emitted powers. Malfunctions were observed in 4/7 infusion pumps and 1/4 syringe pumps exposed to mobiles at their maximum output, for distances as long as 30 cm. The maximum power not inducing any malfunction even at 0 cm distance was also determined. The selection of a proper maximum power class reduces significantly the risk of EMI. Such a function is already built in the GSM standard and thus represents one of the feasible solutions to the EMI problem in hospitals.
Date of Conference: 1-5 Sept. 2004