FDA Investigating Pacemaker, Remote Issues

Suzanne Reedy Says Navy Frequency Gives Her Pacemaker Problems

A federal agency has launched an investigation in response to a series of strange remote control malfunctions that could affect a lifesaving device.

When 10News last spoke with Suzanne Reedy last month, she was on edge and on alert for issues with her pacemaker.

"It's like your heart is jumping sideways," she said in an interview in October.

Reedy was born with a congenital heart defect and has used a pacemaker for 15 years with few problems.

Seven months ago, she began suffering episodes of irregular heartbeat during some trips to Hillcrest, where she works as a hospital technician. Reedy soon realized that every time she felt the symptoms, her car remote was not working.

A review of Reedy's doctor appointments in April and late July showed that during two recent visits, other remotes in San Diego were not working.

The 10News story attracted the attention of Food and Drug Administration, prompting an investigation.

"I am extremely happy about it, "said Reedy, who was interviewed on Tuesday.

Previously, remote manufacturers had blamed the problems on Navy ships. While the Navy did not take responsibility, they did say many military bases often use the same frequency range as some consumer devices.

Reedy was told by the FDA liaison that the Navy theory could be a possibility.

"He suggested radio waves would affect [the pacemaker]," said Reedy.

10News confirmed the FDA will look into multiple complaints in the San Diego area.

"I'm hoping we get to the bottom of it, find out what's causing it and stop it," said Reedy.

In a statement on Wednesday, Navy said, "The FDA has yet to reach out to us. We empathize with neighbors."

The Navy will continue to operate within the mandated radio communications band.

If you know someone who has had similar pacemaker problems, the FDA would like to know about it. Click here to send us your stories.