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I found out when I got home today that the physical therapist who comes to the house to work with my mom used a TENS unit on her today. My mom has pain from compression fractures in an area under her left shoulder blade, not far from her heart. I was advised by her doctor that care needed to be taken with these units because of my mom's heart issues, yet the therapist used the unit on her, likely because she doesn't know my mom has atrial fib. The good part was the pain went away, but I can't help but be concerned that 1) this could have caused my mom to go into atrial fib again, and 2) the therapist crossed a line by not discussing her plans in advance with me. On top of the atrial fib, my mom has dementia and can barely work the TV remote control. Realistically I don't think she would be able to use this type of pain relief on her own.

Has anyone else seen this happen with a home health professional?

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Maybe you should call her PT and ask the PT to consult with her cardiologist.
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So maybe I should ask about PEMF? And I wonder about the safety of my mom lying down 90% of the time with pads that are applied directly to the skin. The skin on her back is mottled from years of overuse of her heating pads, so is it safe for her to keep pads on long term. And I don't know that the PT does have my mom's entire case history. One thing that is bothering me is my mom obviously has a cognitive deficit, and the PT didn't discuss this therapy with me first. My hope is she DID discuss this with my mom's PCP, who used to work in our local cardiac critical care unit and warned us about using the TENS unit with the atrial fib.
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Doesn't the pt have mom's case history?
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I have a TENS unit that I use on my back. DH puts it on for me. My physical therapist uses one on my hip or feet. The one that the therapist uses seems much less powerful than the one I own.
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It would be a good question to ask her doctor.
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"Noninvasive PEMF stimulation, used on a regular basis and with frequencies under 2000 Hz, and preferably at or under 10 Hz, may not only prevent atrial fibrillation but also facilitate medical therapy so that more invasive approaches to managing this condition may be unnecessary." (drpawluk)
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