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D2007-33

Dear Daisy Dog

I just arrived home from the veterinary hospital, where I saw the same sign that’s posted at the human hospital: “Please turn off your cell phone.” I can’t believe that with our sophisticated technology, a cell phone can interfere with medical equipment. Am I wrong?

Daisy Responds

Conventional wisdom to the contrary, you are right that cell phones do not interfere with medical equipment, at least according to a study published in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Researchers ran 300 tests on 192 medical devices in 11 patient care areas, using multiple cell phone technologies and carriers. They identified no problems.

On the other hand, previous reports documented that CD players and electronic anti-theft devices in stores caused pacemakers and other medical equipment to malfunction.

While cell phones apparently can be used safely in hospital settings, we all know they are not always used with good manners.

Your veterinarian may have instituted the cell phone ban because of problems with clients taking calls during a pet’s exam, or people talking too loudly on a phone near someone grieving the death of a beloved pet.

While you are at the animal hospital, you are wise to focus on your pet and the staff members serving you, instead of a voice on your cell phone.

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