My Uncle who is 75, has had a Pacemaker for the last 5yrs, with no problems. However, in the last few days, he went to the local shop in the snow, with the temperature outside a few degrees below zero. After arriving home, he collapsed, but was oblivious to the fact when he came round. He was taken to hospital and given a good checking over, but nothing was found to be amiss. A couple of days later, he again fell over, resulting in a black eye and a cut nose. My question is:- Could the extreme cold weather, and then coming in to a warm house, affect the way the Pacemaker works? Thanks, busted590
Yes, weather can cause a problem. It is called the Triboelectric phenomena and are rarely considered in the differential diagnosis of pacemaker interference or artifacts in the standard electrocardiogram. Static electricity or triboelectric phenomena occur more commonly during very cold weather and very low relative humidity.
Triboelectric signals are usually wider and more irregular than pacemaker stimuli and often recognizable as artifacts.
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