I work in GI endoscopy (within an OR), but thought the OR forum may be a better place for this thread. My hospital has no policy on care of patients with pacer/defibrillators during procedures. I'm confused about use of magnets during electrocautery, and it seems that everyone else in the department is also. A rep from Medtronix gave an inservice, but our anesthesiologist said that the information she gave us was wrong. Basically, the rep said we should call the company and ask them what to do, but we couldn't hurt anything with the newer pacers by placing a magnet during cautery if we weren't sure. The anesthesiologist disagreed and said that yes, we could cause problems (major ones!) by using a magnet on certain pacers, and we had to find out from the company exactly what to do. This seems the safest route.
I'm wondering what other hospitals do about this situation. Who is responsible for finding out how to manage the patient with a pacer/defibrillator? It seems that I should have this information before
the patient gets to the procedure room; as the sedation nurse, I have maybe 5 minutes to get the patient all set up before the doctor comes in and wants to get going. Sometimes I have info from the cardiologist on the chart, which is great; sometimes the only
info I have is "ICD" written on the medical history.
I don't want to reset the programming in a pacer by using a magnet, and I sure don't want to have a defibrillator go off because I didn't use one! Thanks for any advice.