The Effects of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) on Cardiac Pacemakers

This is kind of a strange bit of information I ran across while doing research on EMP.  I decided to post it in case it is useful to anyone who reads this site.
Title : The Effects of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) on Cardiac Pacemakers

Report Date : NOV 1991

Abstract : The U.S. Army Harry Diamond Laboratories’ (HDL’s) Woodbridge Research Facility (WRF) has conducted an investigation into the effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) on medical electronics. This report specifically documents the findings on the effects of WRF’s Army EMP Simulator Operations (AESOP) on cardiac pacemakers (CPMs). Empirical data are furnished and compared to the results of two independent analytical studies. The studies support the conclusion that damage to CPMs that might be located near the WRF boundaries is not likely. Furthermore, any upset in a CPM’s operation is considered unlikely and inconsequential to the health of the CPM wearer. Cardiac pacemakers (CPMs) have experienced significant technological advancements over the last decade, evolving from simple and bulky pulse generators to the small and sophisticated computerized units implanted today. With the implementation of sensitive digital electronics in modern pacemaker designs, concerns have been expressed for the possibility of an increased sensitivity of CPMs to electromagnetic interference (EMI). To some extent these concerns have abated to the increased awareness of the EMI problem by the manufacturers, as evident in better peacemaker designs and the decline in reported malfunctions due to EMI.


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7 thoughts on “The Effects of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) on Cardiac Pacemakers”

  1. damage to a pace maker, would depend on the strength of the event. alltidude, yeild of device, or strength of a CME, and so on. I would be intrested in seeing the whole report.
    a good example is the testing the army did on vehicles. the reported strength of the test event was simillar to small tactical nukes. the EMP’s feild strength was half of what a large strateigec or terrorist attack would be.

  2. There’s a radio blog show online that talks about EMP and other types of related things every Wednesday. They have a guest on every week as well and they have experience/knowledge in those topics. This week a guy named James Huessy is going to be on it. He’s going to be talking about EMP, state-sponsored terrorism, and other national security topics. It should be great to listen to. Here’s the link if want to listen this week Wednesday the 31st:

  3. In my comment yesterday I said that the guy that’s going to be on that radio blog show is James Huessy, when his name is actually Peter Huessy. I’m so sorry about that!

  4. I know that I posted on this before about a guy named Peter Huessy being on that radio show, EMPact Radio. But I wanted to let people know that he is going to be on it again, in case you missed it last time. He’s going to be on again this Wednesday February 8th, 2012 at 12pm eastern time.) The last time he was on it was really interesting to hear, so I’m looking forward to listening to him again. Here’s the link if you missed the last episode with him:

  5. Herbert E Gladen MD

    Do the tests mimic HEMP components (E1 very rapid pulse destroys semiconductors; E2 like lightening signals; E3 destroys power lines) accurately? Even if pacemaker case shielded, leads make antennas.

    1. I’m in washington state with A-fib & a pacemaker. I live just in front of 46 windmills.
      My heart went into a-fib,,,once again,,,,a week ago & got very bad. I finally went to the hospital & they ambulanced me to another hospital. While there only two days it finally converted to a regular rhythm, I no longer had chest pain, my knees & back quit hurting, I was able to get around with ease & felt wonderful.
      I came home today & within 30 minutes had my first off beat & have had 4 more since, m,y knees & back are hurting again. I ALSO HAVE A PACEMAKER but no one will consider the windmills being the culprit. I’m probably going to have to sell my place & move. I’m 77.

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