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View Full Version : rifle shooting when one has a pacemaker


movie zombie
03-15-2009, 3:59 PM
ok, not sure where to ask this but figured i'd start here.

my 85 year old dad wants to go to a range with my brother to sight in a .22 rifle he's had forever and now wants to use to shoot squirrels. my brother is nervous because my dad had a pacemaker installed last year and the range is some distance from emergency services....meaning it could take the ambulance a while to get to him should the need arise.

other than impact directly against the pacemaker itself, can anyone think of a negative medical reason for my father to not doing this?

i don't think my dad will take any of his higher powered rifles to the range. i do know that at one time he talked about his shoulder probably would not be able to take a .357 rifle recoil due to the pacemaker....but that was stated soon after the pacemaker was installed.

any ideas as to why he shouldn't be firing a .22 rifle? my personal thought is other than direct impact into the pacemaker there wouldn't be a danger. my other thought is that its something he would enjoy doing and ultimately its his decision. i will add that the relationship between my brother and father is bumpy at best......

any medical types out there that can answer this one? or anyone with similar experience?

mz

Librarian
03-15-2009, 5:01 PM
ok, not sure where to ask this but figured i'd start here.

my 85 year old dad wants to go to a range with my brother to sight in a .22 rifle he's had forever and now wants to use to shoot squirrels. my brother is nervous because my dad had a pacemaker installed last year and the range is some distance from emergency services....meaning it could take the ambulance a while to get to him should the need arise.

other than impact directly against the pacemaker itself, can anyone think of a negative medical reason for my father to not doing this?

i don't think my dad will take any of his higher powered rifles to the range. i do know that at one time he talked about his shoulder probably would not be able to take a .357 rifle recoil due to the pacemaker....but that was stated soon after the pacemaker was installed.

any ideas as to why he shouldn't be firing a .22 rifle? my personal thought is other than direct impact into the pacemaker there wouldn't be a danger. my other thought is that its something he would enjoy doing and ultimately its his decision. i will add that the relationship between my brother and father is bumpy at best......

any medical types out there that can answer this one? or anyone with similar experience?

mz

A quick look through Google "pacemaker firearms" suggests the main issue is recoil directly to the device. With a .22, shouldn't be an issue.

lateknightucd
03-15-2009, 5:12 PM
Without question you should have your father consult his cardiologist. As smart as the people here are, I wouldn't want a decision like that in the hands of anyone other than the guy who installed the pacer. Off the cuff though, I wouldn't think a .22 would present an issue. If your dad is right handed, pacers are usually placed on the left. Is that the case?

AndrewMendez
03-15-2009, 5:19 PM
This is my personal opinion, I ride a motorcycle, and got all kinds of crap from my family.. I also work with the Fire Department, and get more crap from them1 In my honest opinion, if he wants to go do it, then have him do it.

I WOULD RATHER DIE HAPPY, THEN PISSED OFF AT THE WORLD AT WHAT THEY WOULD NOT LET ME DO!

Plus I do not see any issues as a .22 has about as much recoil as a BB gun!

BroncoBob
03-15-2009, 5:26 PM
Best of luck and really hope your dad enjoys it. But I would get his doctors input first. Then make an intelligent decission.

Bobotheclown
03-15-2009, 5:28 PM
I'd have him check with his doctor. A 22 has little recoil, but better safe than sorry.

movie zombie
03-15-2009, 5:47 PM
my dad is a rather tough and stubborn WWII Marine.......who will say he asked the doctor but may not have. also, he tends to be a bit ambidextrous.....and its been so long since i've seen him shoot a gun, i don't remember if he shoots left or right handed with a rifle.

thanks, guys! this all seems common sense to me but when it comes to some issues with my brother and my dad, common sense seems to go out the window......

i have a better relationship with my dad....or so it seems....and i'd like to keep it that way. questioning his decision sometimes isn't a good idea. but i'll broach the subject about whether he's going to be shooting left or right, and if he says "right" i'll leave it alone. if he says "left", i'll suggest that maybe his doctor should have some input.........

AndrewMendez, my dad has has already given me a code word for the day that could come in which he's in a hospital or bedridden and he's decided that he no longer wants to continue to be medicated. he's been an active guy all his life and doesn't do bad for his age and given he's had heart problems since age 54. doctors didn't think he'd live this long but, as i stated above, he's a stubborn WWII Marine.........!

mz

forynot
03-15-2009, 6:03 PM
I have had a Pacemaker now for let see more then 20 years I am 44 I shoot everything I can get my hands on even a 50 BMG mine is implanted on the left side of my chest and I shoot right handed I talked to my doctor and he said as long as the rifle doesn’t make contact with the Pacer you should no problems.I have never had any problems with it shooting at all even calibers up to like 30-06 should be ok to shoot if you had it implanted on the right and shot right handed. Hope this helps and good shooting :thumbsup:

wash
03-15-2009, 6:14 PM
I'm pretty sure that a pace maker doesn't work all the time.

Also it's implanted in the chest, not the armpit/shoulder. The stock shouldn't get anywhere near it.

I'm guessing he has some nitroglycerine tablets just in case. Make sure he has them on him (which he should any way) and things should be fine.

Nodda Duma
03-15-2009, 6:20 PM
If he's a former Marine, he will shoot right-handed. I've heard there are no left-handed shooters in the Marine Corps :D

-Jason

luchador768
03-15-2009, 6:31 PM
I have had a Pacemaker now for let see more then 20 years I am 44 I shoot everything I can get my hands on even a 50 BMG mine is implanted on the left side of my chest and I shoot right handed I talked to my doctor and he said as long as the rifle doesn’t make contact with the Pacer you should no problems.I have never had any problems with it shooting at all even calibers up to like 30-06 should be ok to shoot if you had it implanted on the right and shot right handed. Hope this helps and good shooting :thumbsup:

It should be in the left side. I am a nurse, and have seen hundreds of pacemaker placements. The wires sometimes come loose, but as far as I know that is not an issue with shooting, they just work themselves out of place over time. As his doctor just to be sure.

mike100
03-15-2009, 7:00 PM
My 32 year old friend has a pacemaker and he shot my 12 ga the other day...I'd be more worried about airport metal detectors, honestly.

Librarian
03-15-2009, 7:10 PM
AndrewMendez, my dad has has already given me a code word for the day that could come in which he's in a hospital or bedridden and he's decided that he no longer wants to continue to be medicated.
There's a California document that covers this, generally called an advance healthcare directive (http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=429); if he wants specific treatment under whatever conditions he specifies,and wants no one to argue about it, he needs to become formal and legal.

I'm an RN, and I'm also the health care agent for my mother.

Do the doc, give signed originals to whatever family members are likely to accompany him to a hospital, and keep a copy on the fridge with the list of emergency contacts, so EMTs will grab it and bring it along.

Get the hospital to put a copy of one of the originals with the floor paperwork/chart. So long as he is conscious, he can change his mind; once he can't communicate, his agent needs to know his wishes, and having them in writing makes that a whole bunch lower stress - not easier, no, not at all.

movie zombie
03-15-2009, 8:27 PM
thanks, Librarian. i think he may have done something but will make sure. i think it was such a document that started the whole discussion re a password.......

mz

TheBundo
03-15-2009, 10:14 PM
You can give the Advanced Healthcare Directive to your Doctor too, and HMO

Ron-Solo
09-07-2009, 8:16 PM
I've had a pacemaker for 12 years and shoot regularly. The only concern I'd have is direct recoil against the pacemaker. If in doubt, have him check with his cardiologist.

On another note, He's 80+ years old, a WWII vet, and still wants to go shooting. GO FOR IT ! Let him enjoy life. And thank him for me for his service!

Eat Dirt
09-07-2009, 9:06 PM
On another note, He's 80+ years old, a WWII vet, and still wants to go shooting. GO FOR IT ! Let him enjoy life. And thank him for me for his service!


+ 1

Quemtimebo
09-08-2009, 12:15 AM
How about a bench rest or recoil pad?

Rob454
09-08-2009, 4:24 AM
Unless you're shooting a magnetic powered gun i dont think your dad needs to worry. A pacemaker can be damaged by a magnetic field. As long as you don't use your dad as a fridge magnet holder he will be fine. My uncle has a pacemaker and he shoots all the time.