Increasing the Survival Rate with An AED

December 10, 2012Comments Off on Increasing the Survival Rate with An AED

According to a recent study done by a group of researchers at the John Hopkins University, around 300,000 Americans are more likely to suffer a heart attack outside of a medical institution. Out of these number, only a mere 8% are able to pull through. In most cases, the patient experiences ventricular fibrillation. In this kind of situation, what happens is the patient experiencing is an erratic sending of electrical pulse to the lower chamber of the heart causing it to quiver instead of being able to pump blood normally. You have to understand that the quivering of the heart does not cause the blood to circulate. Fortunately, in situations like these, you can always rely on AEDs.

AED, which stands for Automated External Defibrillator, a lightweight and portable device that allows a responder to deliver electrical pulses into the victim’s heart through the chest allowing the heart to have a more stable beating pattern. AEDs typically come with both visual and audio prompt that alerts a responder on what they need to do in order to revive a victim. These devices can be used in order to automatically diagnose cardiac arrhythmias involving ventricular fibrillation as well as ventricular tachycardia. In most CPR classes and training sessions, the use of AED is taught as it is one of the easiest ways by which a person can save another’s life.

So how does an AED work?

AEDs come with a built-in computer that is able to check the heart’s beating pattern with the help of adhesive electrodes. Based on what information the computer gets, it makes certain computations in order to ascertain whether defibrillation is needed. If there is a need for it, the device would issue either a visual or an audio prompt (in some models, both), that would let the responder apply electric shock to the heart. These electric impulses actually causes the heart to stop in order for it to regain its natural rhythm. Not all cases would call for electric shocks, however, as this is only recommended for those with ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

With most buildings and institutions already required to have at least one unit of AED, it is therefore no surprise that there is a significant increase in the number of people who are able to survive cardiac arrests even when they are not in a medical institution. Coincidentally, most of the victims who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of medical institutions, about 36% to 79%, have either a pulseless ventricular tachycardia or a ventricular fibrillation, two conditions that, as we have mentioned before, respond positively to the administration of electric shocks via AEDs.

Given these figures, most medical professionals are of the opinion that AEDs truly provide a big help for those suffering from cardiac arrest while outside of a medical facility. However, for those who are within the comfort of their home where having an AED is optional, a knowledge of CPR, even if it is just Compression-Only CPR, would prove to be of great help.

If you would like to come up with an AED program in your workplace, Citywide CPR can help you with your AED program management.