Summary of the History of Defibrillation and AED

December 27, 2013Comments Off on Summary of the History of Defibrillation and AED

It has been said that defibrillation is one of the most important discoveries and the AED is among the most innovative inventions in the history of medical science. Thus, it is just necessary to take a glimpse of how defibrillation and AED started. The idea that a malfunctioning heart could be recovered was initiated in 1888 when Mac William hypothesized that ventricular fibrillation could be a cause of sudden death. It was then Batelli and Prevost who discovered in 1989 that intensified pulses of electrical energy could be applied to the patient’s heart to restore its natural rhythm. This discovery was then further completed by other studies in the nineteenth century.

In 1947, Dr. Claude Beck was the first successful person to perform defibrillation on a human being. According to the reports, he found out that his patient was undergoing ventricular fibrillation and so he applied a 60Hz alternating current to the person’s heart. He was able to stabilize the patient’s heartbeat and because of this success, defibrillators were then developed and eventually released commercially. Moreover, William and Kouwenhoven Milnor were the first ones to practice closed-chest defibrillation in 1954, but it was performed on a dog. After studying this significant accomplishment, Paul Zoll performed this process on a human being in 1956. By that time, a defibrillator was basically a portable electronic device that has the ability to detect risks or issues within the heart. It was also designed with analytic processors to come up with the necessary procedures, including the most accurate amount of electrical joule, to be applied to the patient. Various innovations were then applied as years went on.

The first automated external defibrillators were first developed in 1978. This type of defibrillator comes with sensors that are temporarily attached to the patient’s chest to detect any sign of ventricular fibrillation. If there is, the AED will display a report regarding the heart’s status and the necessary action to be taken by the person using the device. For fully automatic types of AED, there is no more need of user intervention for the device to perform the appropriate procedures for defibrillating the patient’s heart and restore it to its natural rhythm. Modern types of AED come with programmable functions that are primarily intended for safety measures and for the convenience of the user as well. That is why it is now safe and advisable for employers to provide an accessible AED within their workplace as a means of minimizing the risks of outside-the-hospital seizures that are mostly life-threatening.

For more information about automated external defibrillators, it would be best to go for the AED Program Management and AED Medical Oversight offered by Citywide CPR. These training courses basically cover what it takes to become a more knowledgeable and responsible operator of an AED in order to become a more effective life-saver for your loved ones and for the people around you. Take a tour at to find out how to get in an AED Program Management or AED Medical Oversight training course.