When one mentions defibrillation, the first thing that comes to mind is saving a life.
Defibrillation is a procedure that restores the normal rhythm of the heart. The electric shocks from the machine jump-start the heart and restore its normal rhythm. A defibrillator is also called electric cardioversion.
The process involves attaching electrodes to the chest and sending an electrical current through them to stimulate the heart muscles, which causes them to contract and pump blood again.
The process is done manually by pressing a button on a machine or automatically by a device that detects abnormal heart rhythms. It is used in cases of people who are in cardiac arrest.
How Does One Perform CPR?
If you are involved in a car accident or any other instance where someone’s heart stops beating, you need to perform CPR. First, check for responsiveness by tapping on the shoulder and calling out the person’s name. Then 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths.
If the victim is still not responsive after that, you need to start CPR again. If, on the other hand, they become responsive, you need to lay them on their back and wait for help before doing anything else.
If you become an EMT or AEMT, you will perform CPR on a dummy. You will practice it many times until you can achieve it effortlessly. The two breaths must be given at least 1/2 second apart from each other, and each compression must be given at least 1/2 second apart from each other.
The AHA recommends that everyone learn CPR because some people will be saved because even if not everyone uses it. It is essential because people would die from cardiac arrest without it.
What is Defibrillation?
Defibrillation is the process of delivering an electric shock to the heart to stop a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia. The electric shock can be produced from a defibrillator or a nearby charged object, such as a metal railing, pylon, or any other piece of iron.
Manual Defibrillator – A device that uses a pair of paddles applied to the chest of the person suffering from a cardiac arrest. The paddles deliver an electric shock to the heart to stop an arrhythmia and restore normal heart rhythm. Paramedics and other trained medical personnel often use these devices.
External Cardioverter Defibrillator (ECV) – This device works similar to an AED and serves as a pacemaker for the heart, delivering a low-level electric shock at regular intervals. This helps keep the heart in rhythm and prevents an inappropriate shock from being delivered during regular activity.
Some of these devices also monitor heart rhythm and deliver a low-voltage electric shock if an arrhythmia is detected. These devices are often used by people who have had a previous episode of ventricular fibrillation or other life-threatening events.
They can be implanted under the skin or worn on the outside of the body with wires extending to electrodes placed on the skin over the heart.
The second component of a defibrillation system is a monitor, which can be either built into one of these devices or used as an independent unit. It determines whether there is a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia occurring, how much energy should be delivered, and whether it successfully restored normal heart rhythm.
Benefits of Timely Defibrillation
The sooner defibrillation is administered after the onset of an arrhythmia, the better chance of survival. Studies found that patients who received defibrillation within three minutes had a 90 percent survival rate, while those who waited longer than three minutes had only a 10 percent chance of survival.
When a patient is not breathing, the body is deprived of oxygen. This causes the heart to go into a state of shock. It is essential to begin CPR quickly. CPR can only be initiated when someone knows how to do it, so people must learn CPR and perform hands-only CPR on an adult who isn’t breathing and on a child who is younger than eight years old.
Hands-only CPR involves chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Although this type of resuscitation does not restore blood flow or oxygen to your loved one’s brain or body, it can buy time until emergency medical care arrives or until the heart spontaneously resumes its normal rhythm.
According to the American Heart Association, essential life support from bystanders can double or triple survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest with good quality CPR and early defibrillation.
As with any emergency, time is of the essence in cardiac arrest situations. Bystanders should perform chest compressions for about 5 minutes before calling 911.
Can a Defibrillator be Used Twice?
You can only use the defibrillator once. It must be used within 10 seconds of being defibrillated. You are not allowed to use a defibrillator unless you have been certified.
Can you Defib with no Pulse?
The machine is typically only used on people who have a pulse, though there are some exceptions. In some cases, if the person has been without a pulse for more than 5 minutes, the electric shock from the device can restart their heart.
In other cases, if the person has been without a pulse for less than 5 minutes and there are no immediate signs of bleeding in the brain, then they may be given CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before they are shocked.
The defibrillator should only be used on people who have not been without a pulse for more than 5 minutes.
If someone goes into cardiac arrest, you can save their life by using a defibrillator. If the person is not given CPR or if CPR is not performed correctly, they will not survive. A person with an irregular heartbeat can be saved with a single shock to the chest.
Defibrillators are essential and can save lives, but they are useless if not used in time. The problem is that many people do not know how to use a defibrillator or even where it is located.
The two most common defibrillators are an AED (automated external defibrillator) and an IED (internal defibrillator). They look pretty much the same, but the internal one is used on someone who has not gone into cardiac arrest yet. An AED is used on a person who is in cardiac arrest.
This is because an AED can only be used once, and then it becomes useless. It does this by analyzing the heart rhythm, but it cannot do this again after one shock because the information will be false.
To get the correct reading, an IED uses electrodes placed on the chest to give you a reading of the heart’s rhythm. The electrodes also get rid of any extra electricity lingering around in the body after a shock.
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