Most commonly known as AEDs, automatic external defibrillators are portable machines that are used to treat cardiac arrhythmias and ventricular tachycardia. Both conditions are both potentially fatal if not known immediately and are being sought treatment for them. In addition to being able to detect the presence of these life-threatening situations, automatic external defibrillators are also able to treat arrhythmias and tachycardia by using electricity to send the heart back to a regular, stable beat.
Arrhythmias do not mean a cessation of the activity of the heart, but rather cause a life-threatening, irregular rhythm. In the case of ventricular tachycardia the heart beats too quickly at a beat to be successful in pumping blood. When tachycardia is not treated, the heart may eventually reach asystole in which there is no heart contraction which means that all of the heart’s electrical activity has ceased. The patient’s life is in extreme danger, at the point where asystole is reached. A successful combination of drugs that promote cardiac stimulation as well as CPR is required, the only way to achieve a positive result. If those treatments are not sought in a timely fashion, brain damage and eventual death will inevitably result. Brain damage quickly occurs after heart has stopped. Because the brain needs a constant blood supply, preventing blood flow to the brain quickly leads to permanent brain damage. Usually, the brain will suffer irreparable damage after about three or four minutes of asystole. see here
The AED is such a useful and necessary tool as, unlike internal defibrillators that need to be surgically implanted into the patient, it is an external meaning that any layman can use them easily. Automated external defibrillators operate by positioning electrodes on the chest of the patient. After the patient has been positioned clinically, the AED is able to determine the individual’s condition and determine if the patient is having cardiac arrhythmia. The AED is using both visual and voice encouragement to make the rescuer’s patient’s condition clear. When an irregularity is detected, automated external defibrillators will tell the device operator if CPR should be performed or not. If instead the system decides that the patient needs an electrical shock to cure the current condition, the device would warn the rescuer to step back from the patient so that a shock can be delivered via an electrical current through the individual’s electrodes mounted on the individual’s chest. If an electrical shock is issued through the external defibrillator, the heart’s cardiac activity is temporarily stilled. The idea is that the complete halt in electrical activity in the heart will make it possible to restart the cardiac rhythm, ideally with a healthy and strong beat this time.
Because of their reliability and flexibility AEDs are a necessary addition to any home or business establishment. Unlike other cardiac care systems, anybody can use automated external defibrillators instead of just those that have medical training. Because of this, these devices could potentially save the lives of those at risk of cardiac arrest before the ambulance or emergency medical technician arrives.