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cell phone use in hospitals

Discussion in 'alt.cellular.verizon' started by maryann, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Quick

    Quick Guest

    Ugly wrote:
    > On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 19:35:18 -0700, Quick babbled on about Re: cell
    > phone use in hospitals proclaiming:
    >
    >>> They have more important things to
    >>> discuss. Like coffee breaks.

    >>
    >> And you do? This is really sad. Who cares why they don't
    >> allow it? You're all bent out of shape because it's too much
    >> trouble to drag yourself outside to make calls or get voice
    >> mail for your life and death, earth shaking calls and business?
    >>
    >> Why not just tell the person that you are visiting in the hospital
    >> that you're too busy and don't go there?

    >
    > For one thing, the event in question was when I was a PATIENT, I
    > wasn't visiting.
    > In such circumstances I didn't necessarily have the privileges
    > necessary to leave the ward unescorted.
    >
    > There WAS a different hospital where I was able to bring my scanner
    > though. Nursing staff were less than thrilled that I listened in to
    > hospital security but it wasn't as if there was much else to do.
    > It's funny that you made the assumption that all we'd do is VISIT the
    > hospital. If you've never been a patient before, I envy you.


    I don't see a difference. *If* they have a policy against it, and you
    feel you have a need, something might be arranged. If you can't come
    to an agreeable solution then you are always free to leave.

    -Quick



    › See More: cell phone use in hospitals
  2. George

    George Guest

    "Ugly" <bababooey@drlauramail.com> wrote in message
    news:VqCdnfrReJFw7ePcRVn-sw@rogers.com...
    > On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 14:52:51 -0400, George babbled on about Re: cell phone

    use in
    > hospitals proclaiming:
    >
    >
    > > Hospitals are afraid of John Edwards & friends swooping down if

    anything
    > > went wrong and they could be faulted for not using "proper caution" and
    > > banning cellphone use.

    >
    > He's that made-for-tv "psychic" that my wife used to watch, isn't he?

    Supposedly aced as
    > a medium to the dead and relayed their messages. Frankly I would have

    preferred an email.
    > While Sylvia Brown doesn't seem to be as much of a hoaxter I'd still like

    to put her up to
    > the challenge in person.


    Actually he is an attorney who became very wealthy because of his many
    medical litigation cases which many say used junk science. And he is the
    democratic vice presidential candidate.
  3. Notan

    Notan Guest

    Ugly wrote:
    >
    > I remember... his show was called "Crossing Over" when John Edwards used to pretend to
    > talk to the dead. Unfortunately there was a fine print/disclaimer at the beginning which
    > flashed too quickly for me to read. I'm sure that's the way they planned it.


    Lots of people talk to the dead... It's when the dead start answering that
    you'd best leave the room.

    Notan
  4. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:35:19 -0700, David Scruggs
    <bcfd36@rescuenet.com> said in alt.cellular:

    >I'm not sure what you are saying here. I never said it wasn't a land
    >line. It was. With a wireless handset operating at 49.? MHz. Are you
    >saying it WASN'T the ringing phone that caused the fault?


    A wireless handset is *not* a landline phone, it's (as far as the
    ringer goes) a cellular phone operating on 49 MHz. The ring "signal"
    on a wireless handset is as electronic as the ring signal on a cell
    phone - nowhere near a strong 20 Hz signal (nowhere near a 20 HZ
    signal at all - it's DC). Even most modern wired phones don't have
    electro-mechanical ringers, and the amount of induction caused by the
    wires running along the baseboard of the room is negligible. And
    that's assuming a phone connected to the POTS. A phone connected to
    an electronic switch (all modern systems) doesn't use 20 Hz ringing.
  5. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:31:59 -0700, David Scruggs
    <bcfd36@rescuenet.com> said in alt.cellular:

    >I will admit that the problem was not cellular. But it was wireless. The
    >ringer tones in a cell phone are definately not broadcast. My only point
    >was that I actually saw a medical instrument interfered with by a
    >wireless technology.


    Nope. You saw a medical instrument interfered with when a phone rang
    and assumed the interference came from the phone. Since cordless
    phones don't transmit 20 Hz ringing, nor do the handsets use a 20 Hz
    signal to activate the ring tone, the interference you saw didn't come
    from the phone. Maybe it came from the phone wiring - assuming the
    wiring was raw line, not a cable from a phone switch on the premises
    (which wouldn't be using 20 Hz ringing unless it was older than most
    people posting here). Or maybe the interference came from the 49 MHz
    carrier, not some 20 Hz "ring signal" you assumed existed.
  6. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 11:52:40 -0400, bababooey@drlauramail.com (Ugly)
    said in alt.cellular:

    >On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 11:43:29 GMT, jaj001@iglou.com babbled on about Re: cell phone use in
    >hospitals proclaiming:


    >> I LOL when I see a wireless cell site on top of a hospital or in the
    >> back corner of the hospital parking lot.


    >Indeed. My rig is no match for that beast. It would never be noticed.


    One of the local hospitals, being on one of the highest locations
    around, is an antenna farm. It has a few cells, a couple of ham radio
    repeaters and quite a few commercial transmitters on the roof. You
    can actually measure a lot of raw RF in any room in the building, even
    in the basement.

    If RF were going to interfere with any medical equipment there'd be a
    lot of corpses lying on beds there.
  7. RE/
    >One of the local hospitals, being on one of the highest locations
    >around, is an antenna farm.


    Paoli Hospital?
    --
    PeteCresswell
  8. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 22:34:43 GMT, "(Pete Cresswell)" <x@y.z> said in
    alt.cellular:

    >RE/
    >>One of the local hospitals, being on one of the highest locations
    >>around, is an antenna farm.


    >Paoli Hospital?


    Port Jefferson, NY - St. Charles Hospital.
  9. Klein

    Klein Guest

    On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 12:26:58 GMT, Al Klein <rukbat@verizon.org> wrote:

    >On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:35:19 -0700, David Scruggs
    ><bcfd36@rescuenet.com> said in alt.cellular:
    >
    >>I'm not sure what you are saying here. I never said it wasn't a land
    >>line. It was. With a wireless handset operating at 49.? MHz. Are you
    >>saying it WASN'T the ringing phone that caused the fault?

    >
    >A wireless handset is *not* a landline phone, it's (as far as the
    >ringer goes) a cellular phone operating on 49 MHz. The ring "signal"
    >on a wireless handset is as electronic as the ring signal on a cell
    >phone - nowhere near a strong 20 Hz signal (nowhere near a 20 HZ
    >signal at all - it's DC). Even most modern wired phones don't have
    >electro-mechanical ringers, and the amount of induction caused by the
    >wires running along the baseboard of the room is negligible. And
    >that's assuming a phone connected to the POTS. A phone connected to
    >an electronic switch (all modern systems) doesn't use 20 Hz ringing.


    Consider that the simplest way to implement the ringing function in an
    old 49 MHz phone may have been as follows: when cordless base station
    detects ringing signal on the phone line, it rectifies it producing a
    train of pulses at 20 Hz rate. These pulses are used to turn the RF
    of the base station carrier on and off. The cordless handset detects
    this pulsing and activates a ring. If the cordless base station is
    very close to the medical equipment, the pulsing RF carrier might be
    'detected' by circuits within the equipment, resulting in the 20 Hz
    pulsing being detected resulting in interference. The 'detection'
    could be accomplished by any non-linear device (such as a diode or
    transistor) within the equipment.

    More complex modulations of the ring signal might still result in
    strong amplitude modulation of the base station RF carrier which would
    in turn be rectified within the medical equipment, resulting in
    interference.

    Klein Gilhousen
  10. W4PHM

    W4PHM Guest

    I will apologize about top posting in advance, while it may not
    be proper net etiquette, I prefer it when I am reading others posts.

    I am an amateur radio operator and have a bit of experience with
    RF power and interference. I would stake my entire career on the
    fact that medical equipment, even ECG, is well shielded enough not
    to be exposed to interference from any device above 100 Mhz. or
    so. In fact, when I am on the ambulance, we often use VHF radios
    to contact the hospital, as well as 800-900 Mhz. equipment all at about
    50-90 watts with antennas less than 5' away from the patient and I have
    never seen any problems. The interference from a high tension power
    line or an electrical transformer on the pole outside the ER would be
    more likely to cause problems than a cell phone, a hand held radio
    or an FRS rig.

    A hair dryer now, that may be a different story. But oh well, that is
    another thread for another day.

    If anyone has any anecdotal or better evidence contradicting my opinion,
    please post it, I would love to be proven wrong.

    Patrick Mason M.S., EMT-I
    W4PHM, WPWK542
    Virginia


    <jaj001@iglou.com> wrote in message news:417b944d.27743921@nntp.iglou.com...
    > The whole issue is fit to flush.
    >
    > There is NO empirical research on wireless telephony of any type
    > causing interference to FDA approved medical equipment. The only leg
    > the health care industry can stand on is a few manufacturers of either
    > wireless telephone products or FDA approved medical equipment have
    > stated "wireless telephones MAY cause problems."
    >
    > It is the same as a person in a house with electrical service dies, it
    > must have been the electricity that killed the individual.
    >
    > I LOL when I see a wireless cell site on top of a hospital or in the
    > back corner of the hospital parking lot.
    >
    > jaj
    >
    >
    >
    > On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 01:14:40 -0400, poboxdc@ix.netcom.com wrote:
    >
    > >Ugly wrote:
    > >>
    > >> On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 05:10:35 GMT, Lawrence Glasser babbled on about Re:

    cell phone use in
    > >> hospitals proclaiming:
    > >>
    > >> > maryann wrote:
    > >> > >
    > >> > > There was a thread here a few months ago about cell phone use in
    > >> > > hospitals, with plenty of self righteous talk about the "dangers"
    > >> > > to the patients.
    > >> > >
    > >> > > I spent all of today in John Muir Hospital waiting for the gf to

    come out
    > >> > > of surgery, and noticed that each and every hospital employee

    appears to
    > >> > > be equipped with a cell phone. Needless to say, they
    > >> > > seem to think they won't kill the patients that way.
    > >> >
    > >> > More than likely a Nextel-type system... More of a walkie-talkie
    > >> > than a cell phone.
    > >>
    > >> From talking briefly to hospital staff in the past, they often have a

    blanket "cover our
    > >> ass" style policy which prohibits outside radios in general, although

    they seem to only
    > >> specify "cell phones". I remember during my wife's pregnancy trying to

    stay in touch. We
    > >> had the dreaded "FRS" radios and I went to the local hospital security

    department
    > >> explaining that they were in the mid-400 Mhz band just like their own

    security radios but
    > >> only ran at half a watt. They appreciated my inquiry and refused me

    permission to use them
    > >> which was better than getting thrown out for using them anyhow. They

    also have made the
    > >> policy though, of forbidding anything that had to be plugged in. Their

    story was that they
    > >> didn't want their electrical system fried because of some unknown item

    (despite having a
    > >> backup generator which enabled them to be the only building with power

    during last year's
    > >> massive blackout). They said any items (like a hair dryer) would have

    to be "approved" by
    > >> the electrical staff who probably wouldn't have time for it anyhow. Cop

    out. So it's
    > >> probably less of a threat than most let on, but they want to play it

    safe, play it cheap,
    > >> and play it lazy. They have more important things to discuss. Like

    coffee breaks.
    > >
    > >There is a serious side to all this .... like interference.
    > >
    > >Would you enjoy unwanted signals -- giving false readings of
    > >live-saving equipment, while your girl friend was in surgery?
    > >
    > >KM

    >
  11. W4PHM wrote:
    >
    > I will apologize about top posting in advance, while it may not
    > be proper net etiquette, I prefer it when I am reading others posts.
    >
    > I am an amateur radio operator and have a bit of experience with
    > RF power and interference. I would stake my entire career on the
    > fact that medical equipment, even ECG, is well shielded enough not
    > to be exposed to interference from any device above 100 Mhz. or
    > so. In fact, when I am on the ambulance, we often use VHF radios
    > to contact the hospital, as well as 800-900 Mhz. equipment all at about
    > 50-90 watts with antennas less than 5' away from the patient and I have
    > never seen any problems. The interference from a high tension power
    > line or an electrical transformer on the pole outside the ER would be
    > more likely to cause problems than a cell phone, a hand held radio
    > or an FRS rig.
    >
    > A hair dryer now, that may be a different story. But oh well, that is
    > another thread for another day.
    >
    > If anyone has any anecdotal or better evidence contradicting my opinion,
    > please post it, I would love to be proven wrong.
    >
    > Patrick Mason M.S., EMT-I
    > W4PHM, WPWK542
    > Virginia


    I want to hear more about the hair dryer. Talk to me.

    KM
  12. RE/
    >>>One of the local hospitals, being on one of the highest locations
    >>>around, is an antenna farm.

    >
    >>Paoli Hospital?

    >
    >Port Jefferson, NY - St. Charles Hospital.


    We've got the same situation here in Paoli, Penna....

    Also, I just came from spending most of the day in Jefferson Hospital in the
    center of Philadelphia. Beeeeg place...so I can't comment globally, but the
    areas I was in had no visible cell phone prohibitions and people were using cell
    phones in plain view of the staff.
    --
    PeteCresswell
  13. Bill T

    Bill T Guest

    >
    > Also, I just came from spending most of the day in Jefferson Hospital in
    > the
    > center of Philadelphia. Beeeeg place...so I can't comment globally, but
    > the
    > areas I was in had no visible cell phone prohibitions and people were
    > using cell
    > phones in plain view of the staff.
    > --


    I work in hospitals. As I posted before, cell-phone regulations vary from
    place to place. The concern isn't really about monitoring modalities such
    as EKG's or EEG's, but the possibility of reprogramming therapeutic
    equipment like infusion pumps and ventilators. My personal opinion is that
    cell-phone use has no significant interference with medical equipment -
    unless perhaps someone opens up a machine and places a call next to the
    motherboard.

    However, hospitals have non-technical reasons for restricting cell-phone
    use. Employees are there to do their jobs, and cell-phones would distract
    by facilitating personal calls on company time. I assume other industries
    (non-sales) also restrict cell-phone use on the job.


    Bill T
  14. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 08:42:08 -0700, Klein <kleing@aol.com> said in
    alt.cellular:

    >On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 12:26:58 GMT, Al Klein <rukbat@verizon.org> wrote:
    >>On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:35:19 -0700, David Scruggs
    >><bcfd36@rescuenet.com> said in alt.cellular:


    >>>I'm not sure what you are saying here. I never said it wasn't a land
    >>>line. It was. With a wireless handset operating at 49.? MHz. Are you
    >>>saying it WASN'T the ringing phone that caused the fault?


    >>A wireless handset is *not* a landline phone, it's (as far as the
    >>ringer goes) a cellular phone operating on 49 MHz. The ring "signal"
    >>on a wireless handset is as electronic as the ring signal on a cell
    >>phone - nowhere near a strong 20 Hz signal (nowhere near a 20 HZ
    >>signal at all - it's DC). Even most modern wired phones don't have
    >>electro-mechanical ringers, and the amount of induction caused by the
    >>wires running along the baseboard of the room is negligible. And
    >>that's assuming a phone connected to the POTS. A phone connected to
    >>an electronic switch (all modern systems) doesn't use 20 Hz ringing.


    >Consider that the simplest way to implement the ringing function in an
    >old 49 MHz phone may have been as follows: when cordless base station
    >detects ringing signal on the phone line, it rectifies it producing a
    >train of pulses at 20 Hz rate. These pulses are used to turn the RF
    >of the base station carrier on and off.


    FM doesn't work by turning the carrier on and off (which would produce
    terrific spurious radiation [illegal] and sidebands as broad as 2 barn
    doors [also illegal - and almost impossible to detect on the receiving
    end]).

    >If the cordless base station is
    >very close to the medical equipment, the pulsing RF carrier


    Since the assumption is false, the conclusion is invalid.

    Even the oldest cordless phone, and I have prototypes in my basement
    (having been involved in the design), used tone signaling for ringing
    (200 Hz at about 15% modulation, as I recall). Even the old Bell
    system had E & M signaling (tone for ringing, among other things) for
    decades before cordless phones came out.

    >More complex modulations of the ring signal might still result in
    >strong amplitude modulation


    Not on 49 MHz *FM* systems. (There were never AM cordless phones on
    49 MHz, nor were there ever cordless phones that turned carriers on
    and off at the modulation frequency. Doing so would unnecessarily
    complicate the receive side, and interfere with all sorts of
    electronic equipment - like radios and TVs.)

    > of the base station RF carrier which would
    >in turn be rectified within the medical equipment


    Which would have *clearly* (by technology, practice and law) been the
    fault of the medical equipment. But, since the above scenario (AM
    cordless phones turning the carriers on and off at an audio rate)
    never happened, no medical equipment was ever interfered with from the
    20 Hz ring signal from such phones - a signal that never existed.
  15. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 19:37:21 GMT, "(Pete Cresswell)" <x@y.z> said in
    alt.cellular:

    >Also, I just came from spending most of the day in Jefferson Hospital in the
    >center of Philadelphia. Beeeeg place...so I can't comment globally, but the
    >areas I was in had no visible cell phone prohibitions and people were using cell
    >phones in plain view of the staff.


    One of the larger hospitals here, the University Hospital (SUSB), has
    cell phone prohibitions, cellular repeaters all over the place and
    doctors using cell phones. I've been told that the cell phones the
    doctors use are "special phones", but there are no "inherently safe"
    cell phones.

    Maybe they're afraid of losing their rake-off from the pay phones..
  16. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Tue, 02 Nov 2004 03:02:03 GMT, "Bill T" <wctom1@pacbell.net> said
    in alt.cellular:

    >However, hospitals have non-technical reasons for restricting cell-phone
    >use. Employees are there to do their jobs, and cell-phones would distract
    >by facilitating personal calls on company time.


    Which is why cell phone use by patients and visitors is banned, but
    doctors, interns and nurses use them.

    I guess that's logical somewhere, but not in this universe.
  17. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 17:14:17 GMT, "W4PHM" <W4PHM@ARRL.NET> said in
    alt.cellular:

    >I am an amateur radio operator and have a bit of experience with
    >RF power and interference. I would stake my entire career on the
    >fact that medical equipment, even ECG, is well shielded enough not
    >to be exposed to interference from any device above 100 Mhz. or
    >so.


    Your career is safe, Pat. BTW, unless that call is original issue
    (which would be around WWII?), I've been on the air at least as long
    as you have (W2PMX), and I've never seen commercial medical equipment
    bothered by RF, of the type that can come from a cell phone, either.

    >A hair dryer now, that may be a different story. But oh well, that is
    >another thread for another day.


    Yeah - that could melt the plastic.
  18. In <df6eo05s70hg79uespk6h64f855qis15d3@4ax.com> Al Klein <rukbat@verizon.org> writes:

    >doctors using cell phones. I've been told that the cell phones the
    >doctors use are "special phones", but there are no "inherently safe"
    >cell phones.


    cough, cough. Certain types of cellular systems are less likely to cause
    interference with medical (and other) electronic equipment than others.
    And if you add in lots of mini base stations throughout the facility so
    the phone powers down to bare minimum on transmit...

    Not that any hospital has actually chosen to use CDMA (as oppsed to
    tdma/gsm or analog) phones due to this reason.

    danny " not to mention the NYC hospital that has a rotating radar
    antenna on one of its roofs " burstein

    --
    _____________________________________________________
    Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
    dannyb@panix.com
    [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
  19. Al Klein

    Al Klein Guest

    On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 12:28:50 -0500, poboxdc@ix.netcom.com said in
    alt.cellular:

    >I want to hear more about the hair dryer. Talk to me.


    You dry your hair, burning your scalp, which causes you to jump up,
    knocking over the pole that the infusion pump is on, killing the
    patient when the IV rips out.

    Rube will be along in a moment.
  20. Bill T

    Bill T Guest

    "Al Klein" <rukbat@verizon.org> wrote in message
    news:ck6eo0pvtmmfipjvidr7bvijnmtdr0c2tr@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 02 Nov 2004 03:02:03 GMT, "Bill T" <wctom1@pacbell.net> said
    > in alt.cellular:
    >
    >>However, hospitals have non-technical reasons for restricting cell-phone
    >>use. Employees are there to do their jobs, and cell-phones would distract
    >>by facilitating personal calls on company time.

    >
    > Which is why cell phone use by patients and visitors is banned, but
    > doctors, interns and nurses use them.
    >
    > I guess that's logical somewhere, but not in this universe.



    Actually, hospitals which limit cell-phone use frown strongly on nurses
    (employees) using them. The doctors (most of them) are independent
    contractors (not to mention revenue generators) and Administration tends to
    go easy on them. Also, many of the doctors have to deal with outside
    patient matters. Most (not all) cell calls to doctors in hospitals are from
    their offices or other hospitals regarding patients.

    I don't work in teaching hospitals any more, but I would strongly doubt that
    interns and residents would dare to flaunt their local cellphone use rules.



    Bill T

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