Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Cyberonics Magnet

I have some asthetics issues with the Cyberonics Magnet and will be writing about those in detail for a few posts: (VNS Magnet Expose) To begin with, I'm going to start with the description of magnet usage from the Cyberonics website:

What does the magnet do?
If you put the magnet over the Pulse Generator site and then move it away, the VNS Therapy System will deliver extra stimulation (if your doctor has activated Magnet Mode), regardless of your treatment schedule. You can easily use the magnet yourself, or your relatives, companions, or caregivers can use it for you if you are having a seizure. Holding the magnet over the Pulse Generator will turn the stimulation OFF. Removing it will start the stimulation cycle again.

Can I stop all my seizures with the magnet?
Each person experiences different results from magnet stimulation. Some people report that the magnet stops all or most of their seizures, lessens the intensity, or shortens the duration. For others, the magnet has limited or no effect.

When should I use the magnet?
Use the magnet in these circumstances:

To start stimulation
When you are having an aura that comes before a seizure
When you believe you are beginning a seizure
Any time during a seizure
To stop stimulation
To test that the device is operating properly

Do I have to use the magnet to try to stop a seizure?
No. Whether you use the magnet or not is completely up to you and whoever is with you. It may also depend somewhat on whether the magnet has helped before. Remember, Cyberonics recommends using the magnet daily to test that the device is operating correctly.

How does the magnet work?
The VNS Therapy device has electronic circuitry that recognizes the presence of the magnet and activates extra stimulation.

Can any magnet be used?
Only the Cyberonics magnet should be used with your VNS Therapy System. If you lose your magnet or require extra magnets, contact your doctor. In an emergency situation, however, you can try other strong magnets. The use of other, non-Cyberonics magnets will not harm the VNS Therapy System.

Will the magnet affect my normal treatment schedule?
The magnet will always override your normal treatment schedule, whether the device is currently stimulating or not. Once the magnet-activated stimulation ends, the VNS Therapy System will return to the programmed treatment schedule set by your doctor.

How often can I use the magnet?
As often as you like, but for no more than four hours of continuous magnet activation (one right after another). Continuous or frequent use of the magnet will use up, or deplete, the battery in the Pulse Generator and could hurt the nerve. If you use the magnet frequently, you may need your normal stimulation settings to be adjusted. Discuss this with your doctor during your next visit.
Because the magnet usually activates the device for 30 or 60 seconds each time you use it (depending on what settings your doctor uses), there is no effect from using it again during this same period. Wait until the current stimulation cycle ends before trying it again.

What if the magnet is accidentally kept in place over the Pulse Generator for an extended period?
No stimulation will be delivered while the magnet is kept over the device. Normal and magnet-activated stimulations will start again only after the magnet is removed.

Is it possible to stop all stimulation using the magnet?
Yes. If you notice unusual or painful stimulation, hold the magnet over the Pulse Generator and keep it there. Then contact your doctor immediately. The magnet will stop all stimulation while it is held in place. You may need to secure the magnet by taping it over the device.

Who should carry the magnet?
You should carry the magnet so that it is always with you. You may also want your family members or caregivers to have access to a Cyberonics magnet in case they see you having a seizure.

Is the magnet an environmental hazard?
The Cyberonics magnet can damage computer disks, credit cards, watches, and other items affected by strong magnetic fields. Keep your magnet at least 25 centimeters (10 inches) away from any of these items, and do not store magnets near such items.


Jesusgreek said...


Do you have to carry the magnet in a tiny halliburton metal briefcase?

Kim M said...

To me putting the magnet on my wrist makes it difficult to use my credit cards or to reach into my purse to dig for them----there should be some special case to put them in I AGREE

Emeriol said...

Mike, Kim,
I will look into a special case... I'm not so much of a physics wiz, but know a bit. I'll post one on that later.
Thx for the input!