That One Important Thing

October 7, 2015Comments Off on That One Important Thing

One of the most remarkable and lifesaving devices of this century is the Automated External Defibrillator or AED. Lawmakers see the importance of this device and have come to make laws instituting the device in schools, public places, and even homes with high-risk individuals.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is still the number one natural killer in the U.S. It is the most common reason for using an AED, the device that first-response vehicles like ambulances, police cars, and firetrucks should have. Emergencies can bring up other emergencies, like stroke or seizure during a fire, and it should be a known fact.

Ventricular fibrillation is the rapid and unsynchronized heart rhythm that starts from the heart’s lower pumping chambers, or the ventricles. It is one of the main causes of SCA and can easily be treated by an AED.

The AED has an onboard computer that checks the rhythm of a person’s heartbeat, via two pads with sensors attached to them. The pads pass the information almost instantaneously to the AED’s built-in computer.

Once the computer finishes scanning the heart, it would tell the operator if the shock merits a green light. The shock is delivered via the two pads attached to the AED. The pads have sensors attached to each to check the heart for beat and rhythm irregularities.

An AED can be mixed with common Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR techniques, such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions. They are effective methods to lessen the stress and time an AED will be used. This becomes useful when the AED might arrive late to the scene, or if there is already an existing one in the area of the incident but no one knows how to use it.

CPR is sometimes not enough for certain situations. Sometimes one would just continue compressing without knowing how much should actually be applied. It would be a waste of time, especially for the patient who might already be slipping away.

There are affordable but competitive units available, especially for those who practice resuscitation for a living. One can get his or her hands on a unit easily nowadays.

Recently, a certain Denise Henning of Kansas City, Texas, was elevated to the title of hometown hero after saving an umpire, who collapsed in a baseball park in Liberty, Kansas, where no similar devices were in place. She will also be Red Cross’ Hero of the Year after her efforts in saving another person’s life.

Henning said there are no AED’s found the ball park, a sad reality which prompted her to form a foundation in order to avoid untoward things like that from ever happening. They have raised funds good for three years in ensuring more AED’s are in place in public places around Kansas City.

They were able to save the life of a person and proved to a lot of people that the AED is the only effective treatment in restoring the regular heart rhythm during an episode of SCA. Preparedness is important.