WASHINGTON – Patients with pacemakers, drug pumps and other medical devices face a very small risk of electrical malfunction when undergoing medical scanning, but it shouldn’t stop them from getting necessary care, according to health regulators.
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday the risk of serious health problems due to medical scans is “extremely low” and can be further reduced by using lower doses of X-ray radiation. The agency first flagged the issue to health providers in 2008 and posted an update to its website Friday.
FDA regulators have received a small number of reports from patients with heart devices, electronic stimulators and other devices. The agency believes the issue occurs when X-rays used in CT scans interfere with the circuitry of some medical devices, including implants and wearable devices.