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Case Reports in Cardiology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6714307, 4 pages
Case Report

Electromagnetic Interference from Swimming Pool Generator Current Causing Inappropriate ICD Discharges

1Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH, USA
2Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, OH, USA
3University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
4Dayton Heart and Vascular Hospital, Dayton, OH, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Edward Samuel Roberto

Received 22 February 2017; Revised 30 June 2017; Accepted 24 July 2017; Published 23 August 2017

Academic Editor: Tayfun Sahin

Copyright © 2017 Edward Samuel Roberto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electromagnetic interference (EMI) includes any electromagnetic field signal that can be detected by device circuitry, with potentially serious consequences: incorrect sensing, pacing, device mode switching, and defibrillation. This is a unique case of extracardiac EMI by alternating current leakage from a submerged motor used to recycle chlorinated water, resulting in false rhythm detection and inappropriate ICD discharge. A 31-year-old female with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy and Medtronic dual-chamber ICD placement presented after several inappropriate ICD shocks at the public swimming pool. Patient had never received prior shocks and device was appropriate at all regular follow-ups. Intracardiac electrograms revealed unique, high-frequency signals at exactly 120 msec suggestive of EMI from a strong external source of alternating current. Electrical artifact was incorrectly sensed as a ventricular arrhythmia which resulted in discharge. ICD parameters including sensing, pacing thresholds, and impedance were all normal suggesting against device malfunction. With device failure and intracardiac sources excluded, EMI was therefore strongly suspected. Avoidance of EMI source brought complete resolution with no further inappropriate shocks. After exclusion of intracardiac interference, device malfunction, and abnormal settings, extracardiac etiologies such as EMI must be thoughtfully considered and excluded. Elimination of inappropriate shocks is to “first, do no harm.”