In the past couple of years manufacturers have come up with some of the most easy to use automatic external defibrillators. The AEDs as they are called are now a lot smarter, do not require experience and have a manual override setting for experienced doctors and paramedics. These devices have increased the chances of survival for many people suffering from heart conditions. But before people use this device it is important that they understand exactly how it works and when to use it.
The dangers of ventricular fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation is a medical term of irregular heart rhythm. When the heart rhythm becomes abnormal or irregular it cuts off supply of blood to all the vital organs including the brain. So, any ventricles that are damaged because of cardiac arrest if they are not treated on time may result in eventual death. This is because these are the main blood carrying vessels responsible to directing blood from the heart. From the time a person suffers from ventricular fibrillation he only has 10 minutes to live. The first five minutes are the most important and so defibrillation delivered with CPR within this time will increase their chances of surviving by 80%.
Ventricular fibrillation treatment
The most effective way of treating the conditions is to reset the heart by directing a high intensity shock to it. This method is often referred to as being defibrillation. That said there are various types of defibrillation and so the rate of survival will mainly depend on what method is used.
- Experienced doctors in hospitals or paramedics will use a manual defibrillation unit with success because they know exactly what intensity shock to use. They can also dial up the intensity based on what feedback they get from the heart. Cardiac arrest victims have a very high survival chance in the hospital.
- Cardiac arrest victims often have a lower chance of survival when outside the hospital especially if they do not get defibrillation within five minutes. A CPR specialist may be able to revive the person but with a low degree of success.
- Automatic external defibrillation can save lives outside a hospital but only if the device is used on time. The person in charge of running through the steps will need to keep calm and follow through the voice prompts by the machine.
How important is cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPR has been known to save lives mainly by providing a degree of relief via artificial circulation. CPR does an excellent job of delivering some oxygen to the body in addition to jolts to the heart which in mild fibrillation is able to revive people. However, CPR in the case of fibrillation is best used in conjunction with an AED or a manual defibrillator. After each shock is delivered the person should perform CPR and check the heart for its rhythm. Doing this correctly can save lives outside of a hospital but people who do not know CPR may be able to save lives only if an AED is available.