Can I Use a Welder if I have a Pacemaker?

Date: 13-05-2024

 

We are often asked if it is safe for someone who has a pacemaker implant to use a welding machine. This is a complex question which crosses the boundaries from the industrial to the medical, so we're going to refer to some further articles.

 

What some experts say

Can I Go Near Someone Who Is Welding After Having A Pacemaker Implanted?
- Dr. Brian Olshansky on ABC News

The risks of using a heart pacemaker and welding
- Article by TWI (The Welding Institue) UK

FAQs For Implantable Cardiac Devices: Welding & Chainsaws
- Article by Medtronic USA

 

Summary

Following is some summary points from the articles referred to above. This is not a complete summary and you should speak to your doctor, read the above articles in full, and do your own research before making any decisions.

Always speak to your doctor and/or cardiologist first and follow their advice.

Welding under any conditions if you have a pacemaker implant will incurr / involve health and safety risks.

However, if you must weld, the following steps may help to reduce (but will not eliminate) the risks involved:

  1. Keep amperage range under 130A
  2. Avoid using any welding machines with Pulse function (typically found on some higher-end / professional TIG and MIG machines, however can be found in some Stick/MMA machines as well), or High-Frequency function (typically found on professional TIG machines, and some plasma cutters).
  3. Keep your clothing (includes gloves and shoes) and work area dry at all times
  4. There should be at least a 600mm / 2 ft. distant between your pacemaker and the welding arc
  5. Keep welding cables and the welding machine as far from you as possible. The recommended distance for the welding unit is around 1.5m / 5 feet from where you work.
  6. Where possible, twist the welding cables together, and ensure that the pacemaker user is not stood in a current loop, with the torch on one side and the return cable on the other.

 

 

More Articles on Welding Machines   View The Range of Weldclass Welders

 

 

This article is intended to provide a guide and reference to other more detailed and authoritative articles on this topic, and should not be taken as expert medical advice. Always consult your doctor and/or cardiologist first and follow their advice. E. & O. E.