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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Safety

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Risk of Electromagnetic Interference with Medical Telemetry Systems Operating in the 460-470 MHz Frequency Bands

Audience: Healthcare risk managers and healthcare professionals

[Posted 11/16/2005] FDA issued a Public Health Notification regarding increased risk for electromagnetic interference in any medical telemetry systems operating in the 460-470 MHz frequency bands after December 31, 2005. This interference could compromise patient safety. In January 2006 the Federal Communications Commission will begin issuing new licenses for mobile radio transmitters to operate in the 460-470 MHz band.

According to tests conducted by the FDA, the transmitters operating under new licenses in this frequency band can interfere with medical telemetry systems. This could lead to lapses in patient monitoring and missed alarm events, putting patients at risk. The anticipated interference will not be limited to urban areas. Any medical facility in the vicinity of a mobile radio could be affected.

[November 16, 2005 - Public Health Notification - FDA]