The Function and Importance of Automated External Defibrillators for Households with SCA Possibility
Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs are portable devices that act as temporary defibrillators for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. This equipment can be operated by almost anyone, hence it is handy to have around especially if there are people susceptible to cardiac arrest present. The function of the automated external defibrillator is the same as a manual defibrillator, only with weaker capabilities. It is then useful only as form of basic first aid, to increase the window in which professional medical personnel may arrive and quickly perform advanced life support techniques.
The automated external defibrillator differs greatly from manual defibrillators in a number of ways. The most obvious one is the way it is operated. Manual defibrillators require the operation of a professional as it is regarded as sensitive equipment. Although automated external defibrillators are also sensitive equipment, the most recent versions of these are more user-friendly, designed to be used by anyone so that when there is a problem detected, anyone nearby can be of help to the patient.
AEDs treat conditions of the heart such as arrhythmias that are deemed as life-threatening. Arrhythmia is the disease in which the heart pumps blood erratically. This can mean that the heart is pumping blood too fast or too slow, and both are equally life-threatening. The automated external defibrillator treats the heart in a sense that it detects early warning signs of the onset of cardiac arrest or if the heart starts pumping too slow or too fast and gives it an electric shock to keep the beat back to normal. For those unable to operate the equipment due to loss of consciousness, there are a lot of AEDs with very simple instructions on how to use it, allowing the bystanders to operate it and help revive a patient.
The disruption of electrical activity in the heart is what causes heart conditions such as cardiac arrest. The two types of arrhythmia are ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. V-Tach happens when heartbeat becomes incredibly fast, while ventricular fibrillation happens due to extremely irregular heart rhythm. These two causes the heart to not pump effectively, which in turn cuts off oxygen supply in the muscle and can cause tissue decay and death.
The AED stops the irregularities of the heart’s rhythm thanks to the electric output that keeps the heartbeat at a regular rate and at a normal strength. Even with the AED, CPR must still be performed in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest to make sure that the patient is revived upon arrival of the advanced medical personnel. To err in the side of caution, one should always contact the emergency services even with the existence of AED in a household, as the services of medical professionals increase the survival rate drastically. It is in the discretion of homeowners with persons suffering from arrhythmia to purchase the device for their own use, but keep in contact with medical services.
For more information and interest about automated external defibrillators, Citywide CPR shares information and are sellers of the equipment as well.