What You May Be Wondering

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Clinics Abroad

International travelers can search for clinics that support St. Jude Medical pacemakers, defibrillators, and CRT devices.

How often do I have to see my doctor?

Be sure to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your doctor, even if you’re feeling fine. Your doctor may advise you that annual visits are sufficient, but be sure to call him or her any time you have questions or experience a health problem related to your procedure.

Is it safe to engage in sexual activity?

Other than a brief stay in the hospital followed by a short recovery period, receiving an implantable device typically doesn’t have any adverse effect on a patient’s sex life. It is important, though, to follow your doctor’s advice as to when to resume any physical activity.

Will I be able to drive?

Discuss with your doctor the medical conditions restricting driving in your state.

If I have a CRT-P or CRT-D, is it safe to use a cell phone?

Cellular phones, which send electromagnetic signals, can interfere with proper device operation. However, simple precautions—such as not carrying the phone in a breast pocket over the CRT-P or CRT-D and holding it to the ear that is farthest from the device—minimize the risk.

Will an iPod™ music player or other portable multimedia player interfere with my CRT-P or CRT-D?

There is no indication that compact multimedia players, such as iPod products or mp3 players, interfere with the normal function of a St. Jude Medical CRT-P or CRT-D. Some limited data suggests that during device evaluation in the hospital or in a clinic, use of one of these players within approximately 12 inches of the implanted device and programmer wand could disrupt the communication between the programmer and the device. Again, this interference is only observed when the multimedia player is within 12 inches of the implanted CRT-P or CRT-D and the programmer’s telemetry wand.

Though there is no data that carrying a multimedia player device affects a device’s ability to deliver therapy, it is nonetheless recommended that, if you carry the player in your breast pocket, you do so on the opposite side from your implanted device.

Will airport, courtroom or other security areas interfere with my CRT-P or CRT-D?

The amount of metal used in St. Jude Medical implanted medical devices is very small. It is usually not enough to set off metal detectors; however, if it does, simply show security personnel your patient identification card.

Passing through a metal detector will not hurt your device. However, you do not want to linger too long near the metal detector (no more than 15 seconds is recommended). The best thing to do is to walk through at a normal pace. If the alarm sounds (it may or may not), it only means that the system detected the metal in your device.

Security personnel may use a handheld wand. If so, it is important that you ask them to perform the search quickly and to avoid holding the wand over your implanted device for a prolonged period of time. Your device will not interfere with aviation navigation equipment.

What precautions do I need to take if I have a PA sensor?

Most of the things you handle or work around every day are not going to affect your pulmonary artery (PA) sensor, and it will not set off airport security. Electromagnetic interference from theft detection systems, airport security systems, etc., could make it difficult to take sensor measurements. However, it is highly unlikely that you would be taking measurements when you are close to these devices. Electric blankets or waterbeds could cause interference. If so, move the electric blanket out of the room. If you have a waterbed, take the measurement in another room. If you get a high PA pressure reading while traveling, your doctor will contact you and may change your medication or suggest that you see a local physician.

What if I need care when I’m traveling?

If you need care when you are traveling, you can use our international clinic locator to search for clinics in Europe, Africa, Canada and the Middle East that offer implantable cardiac device support for St. Jude Medical CRT devices. Clinics in additional countries will be added in the future. We recommend that you bookmark this page on your smartphone before you leave to make locating help easier, should you require medical assistance while away from home.

I have a Merlin@home™ transmitter and/or a CardioMEMS™ Patient Electronics System. Is there anything special I need to do when traveling outside the United States?

Be sure to ask your doctor to contact St. Jude Medical support service to determine if your Merlin@home transmitter and/or CardioMEMS™ Patient Electronics System will work in the country in which you are traveling.

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