An Introduction to AED
When it comes to the top causes of deaths in the US, very few medical conditions can top heart diseases. Based on statistics, in the US alone, the said condition has been named as the primary cause for the death of about one American per 33 seconds.
One particular heart disease that has been silently targeting a number of Americans is the Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA. Also known as the circulatory arrest, SCA is very far from a heart attack to which it is constantly misconstrued. While heart attack takes place when a blockage is keeping the blood from reaching the heart, in SCA, a problem in the natural beating pattern of the heart takes place causing it to stop beating. In most cases, a heart attack produces a number of symptoms such as numbing of the extremities, tingling sensation, and difficulty breathing. This is something that the SCA does not provide.
In most cases, an SCA happens outside of a medical institution. That being the case, it is no surprise that more and more establishments are making sure that they have at least one unit of AED on hand in order to help those in need of resuscitation. It also helps that more and more US states are making it mandatory for these establishments to have the right number of AED units on hand.
An AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is a portable electronic device that can be used by literally anyone in order to help revive a person suffering from SCA. Each of the unit comes with two pads that are to be attached to the chest of the victim. These pads are attached by a wire to the main electronic computer. The latter is responsible for assessing the condition of the victim as well as determining whether the situation still calls for the administration of electrical jolts or not. The device itself can also help first-time responders to administer CPR even if they have no prior training on how to do such. This is because most models of AED have both audio as well as visual prompt that can help the responder figure out what to do next.
So why do people consider access to AED as well as administration of electrical shock to victims of SCA important?
In the chain of survival, early fibrillation is critical to ensuring a person’s chances of being able to make it through. Keep in mind that most SCA is caused by ventricular fibrillation. If early administration of electrical jolts that would help normalize the beating patter of the heart is done, the patient would have better chances of being able to make it through. Of course, it would also help if CPR as well as immediate activation of emergency response is done.