Defibrillation

This is a treatment which is used to cure fatal diseases like VF (ventricular fibrillation) and VT (Ventricular Tachycardia). During this, an electric shock is passed through the heart to restore the normal rhythm of human heart. A defibrillator is a simple device which depolarizes the heart muscles to improve the cardiac cycle in conditions where heartbeats are not compatible with life.

This device can either be placed externally or implanted, as per the need of patient’s heart. The external unit used in defibrillation is AED (Automated External Defibrillators) which are externally used to diagnose whether the patient’s heart is in a lethal rhythm or not.

Defibrillation pads are placed on the patient’s bare chest.The first pad is placed on the anterior portion of the chest just above the right nipple while the second is placed on the left side of the chest covering the lower breast area.

These defibrillation pads are gel pads which not only limit the amplitude and energy of current, but also protect skin from getting burnt.

AEDs are designed to be as user friendly as possible. AEDs give audio as well as visual commands to assist users in delivering a lifesaving shock to a patient in need.

AED Defibrillators can be both automatic and semi-automatic. Semi-automatic AEDs diagnose the rhythm of the heart to check whether a shock is required or not and then requires the user to depress the “shock button” to deliver the needed shock. A fully automated AED will diagnose the heartbeat, asks the health provider to keep his hands away and deliver the shock automatically to the patient.

Defibrillation is most effective when it is delivered within the first few minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest. Must studies show that the patient has the highest chances of survival if a shock is delivered within the first three minutes of collapse. AEDs are also known as PAD (Public Access Defibrillators). Since most cardiac arrest cases take place outside hospitals, it is imperative that AED’s are placed at all areas where large amounts of the public congregate.

Defibrillators are of various types:

  • Manual External Defibrillator
  • Manual Internal Defibrillator
  • Automated External Defibrillator
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
  • Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator
  • Internal Defibrillator