Can I Use a MIG Welder with a Defibrillator?

Using a MIG welder with a defibrillator can be a risky proposition due to the potential for electromagnetic interference (EMI) that may disrupt the proper functioning of the defibrillator. EMI can result in unnecessary shock therapy, inhibition of pacing therapy, or inappropriate tachyarrhythmia therapy, which can have serious consequences for the individual with the implanted device.

Maintaining a Safe Distance

According to Boston Scientific, the recommended distance between the implanted device and the arc welding equipment should be at least 24 inches (60 centimeters). This distance is crucial to minimize the risk of interference and ensure the proper functioning of the defibrillator.

Strictly Following Safety Precautions

can i use a mig welder with a defibrillatorImage source: Mig weld example

In addition to maintaining the recommended distance, it is essential to strictly follow the safety precautions outlined in the welder’s manual. These precautions include:

  1. Working in a Dry Area: Ensure that the work area is dry and free from any moisture, as moisture can increase the risk of electrical shocks and interference.

  2. Keeping Cables Straight, Close Together, and Extending Away from the Body: Arrange the cables in a way that minimizes the loop area and keeps them close together, extending away from the body.

  3. Arranging the Work Area: Position the work area so that the handle and rod of the welder will not come into contact with the metal being welded.

  4. Using Short, Intermittent, and Irregular Bursts at the Lowest Feasible Energy Levels: Limit the welding current to short, intermittent, and irregular bursts, and use the lowest feasible energy levels to minimize the risk of interference.

  5. Ensuring Proper Grounding: Ensure that all equipment is properly grounded and in proper working condition to reduce the risk of electrical shocks and interference.

  6. Limiting Welding Currents: Limit the welding currents to less than 160 Amps to further reduce the risk of interference.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

The manufacturer of the defibrillator device has provided additional guidance on how to safely use a MIG welder with an implanted device. They suggest that if you keep the current to no more than 130 amps, twist the ground cable around the “hot” lead and clamp it close to the weld. This approach is intended to reduce the “loop area” and minimize the risk of interference.

The manufacturer assures that if these precautions are followed, the device will not be damaged or its programming altered.

Consulting with a Healthcare Professional

It is highly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in any activity that may pose a risk to the proper functioning of the defibrillator. The healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance and advice based on the individual’s specific medical condition and the type of implanted device.


Using a MIG welder with a defibrillator requires careful consideration and adherence to strict safety precautions. By maintaining a safe distance, following the manufacturer’s recommendations, and consulting with a healthcare professional, individuals with implanted defibrillators can potentially engage in welding activities while minimizing the risk of interference and ensuring the proper functioning of their medical device.


  1. Arc Welding and Implanted Medical Devices – Boston Scientific
  2. Does anyone here MIG weld with a pacemaker implanted? – I Forge Iron
  3. Anyone doing MIG/TIG who has a defibrilator/pacemaker? – Weld Talk Forum
  4. Can you weld with an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)? – YouTube
  5. Defibrillator – WeldingWeb – Welding Community for pros and enthusiasts