Did you try pinging it?

This medical device company makes what's called a pacemaker transmitter, says a pilot fish who handles customer support.

"When the patient hooked it up, he could transmit his EKG and pacemaker data over the phone," fish reports. "Our company name was proudly displayed on the device.

"I was on a 24-hour support watch and at about 8 p.m. I got a call from a hospital. Turns out it was a doctor from an ER.

"'We have a problem,' he said. 'We have a patient and we think he is dead.'

"You think he is dead, I said.

"'Yes. You see, he has one of your pacemakers and we can't confirm whether or not he is dead without turning it off.'

"I struggled very hard not to laugh. I said, 'We make the transmitter, not the pacemaker. But you really should be able to confirm his death with an EKG.' You see, without a heartbeat, a pacemaker makes a square wave on the EKG.

"I gently told him to contact the patient's doctor and find out who put in the pacemaker. They would be able to turn it off. Then I hung up and laughed for hours."

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