Pacemakers have nothing to fear from Y2K, manufacturers say
September 14, 1999
Web posted at: 3:08 p.m. EDT (1908 GMT)
From Medical Correspondent Eileen O'Connor
(CNN) -- With many concerned about the potential effects of the Y2K bug, experts say there is no need to worry about pacemakers and defibrillators because they are controlled by an internal clock, not a date chip.
With government and industry guides advising patients to talk to their manufacturers and doctors about any questions they have, companies like Medtronic have been deluged with calls.
Medtronic supplies nearly 650,000 clients with pacemakers and over 50,000 with defibrillators.
The company says those with pacemakers or defibrillators are welcome to ask any questions they have, but they should not worry because these devices are not dependent on date information for function.
"They can be totally confident that their devices will perform exactly as they have in the past and that they can rely on them to safely protect their lives," said Steve Mahle of Medtronic.
Other manufacturers say the same.
The external programmer, which collects data from the pacemaker, will also function, though it might need a date adjustment for information gathering purposes alone, physicians say.
For the most part, that simple adjustment, which does not affect function, has been done.
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Will health industry be infected by Y2K bug?
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Time for a check-up: Hospitals screening for Y2K bug
February 2, 1999
Y2K bug hits medical devices
January 12, 1999
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