Cardiac Life

How Aed Defibrillators Work

An AED is the device you see very commonly in movies, the one that involves sending electricity through a person’s heart when they get a cardiac arrest. This treatment is effective when the heart stops working, or goes into fibrillation mode, which is commonly known as cardiac arrest. You may already know about it: your heart is made of many muscles. These muscles work tirelessly, non-stop, day-in and day-out, so that you can live and breathe like a normal human being. If your heart stops working just for a second, you may die. Now what happens if your heart goes into cardiac arrest? This is a condition where your heart goes into a very fatally abnormal beating rhythm or stops working altogether. It results in stoppage of transportation of oxygen to the brain, which may result in death if not treated promptly. There is a popular method of keeping brain oxygenated, called CPR, but that cannot get the heart to start working again. To get the heart back to work, something as strong as an electric shock is needed.

This is where a defibrillator comes in. When someone has gone into the state of cardiac arrest, the only hope that remains for the person is to somehow get his heart to start beating normally again. An AED device, such as Philips heartstart, is brought in and put to use. It consists of two metal electrodes that are called paddles, and a supply unit for electricity. The paddles are worn on the hands by the doctor. There is no danger of the doctor getting a shock too, as there are plastic handles. Before delivering electric shocks to the patient, the doctor quickly applies a gel to the skin of the patient. This is done to avoid skin burns. For the doctor to be able to make the electricity pass through the heart of the patient, placement of the paddles is important. The arrangement where one paddle is placed to the left and above, and the other is placed to the right, works well. When the device is charged, the doctor stands well clear of the patient’s body and gives his heart a shock. In most cases, the patient gets back up.

There are different types of defibrillators available. The most commonly seen ones are the AEDs. These devices are pretty much point-and-shoot mode. The automated processes in these machines help untrained persons to administer primary treatment to those in need. They automatically detect the heartbeat pattern, decide how much shock is needed and whether or not the heart is still working. Defibrillators work only when the heart is still beating, even though abnormally. The ones shown in movies are usually manual external defibrillators. They require professional knowledge for use. Then there are the semi-automated defibrillators that have the capability of working automatically and semi-automatically. For the patients that have delicate hearts prone to rhythm issues, there are internal defibrillators that are implanted in the chest. They constantly monitor the heart and administer shocks whenever needed.

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About The Author

Davey Higgs is a veteran doctor and an extremely respected name in the medical world who also loves writing various articles and blogs, helping people understand cardiac problems better. He recommends as one of the most trusted names when it comes to Philips AED, Philips Heartstart and other similar products needed to maintain cardiac health.