Understanding Defibrillators


Why Use Defibrillators?

Defibrillations is a medical treatment for cardiac dysrhythmias which is life threatening. The two types of cardiac dysrhythmias are ventricular fibrillation and non-perfusing ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillator, the instrument used in carrying out the process of defibrillation, delivers a counter shock, which is a dose of electric currents, to the heart. This works to depolarize a significant amount of the muscles of the heart thus ending the dysrhythmia. Consequently, the natural pacemaker of the heart is able to reestablish and work in the manner that it should. Defibrillation can be trans venous, external, or it can be implanted. The manner in which it will be worked with depends on the type of instrument that will be used or is required. There are external units of the defibrillators known as automated external defibrillator which automates the diagnosis of treatable rhythms. This means that it can be used by lay responders as it doesn’t require an individual to be tutored on its proper use.

Types of Defibrillators:

There are many types of defibrillators. They include:
  • Manual external defibrillator.
    • These defibrillators are used in conjunction with an electrocardiogram require the expertise of a healthcare professional. The electrocardiogram can be either inbuilt or separate. The professional will diagnose the cardiac rhythm first before determining the voltage and timing for the electrical shock.
  • Manual internal defibrillators
    • This type of defibrillators delivers the electrical shock through paddles which are placed directly above the region of the heart. Their use is more widespread in operating rooms and sometimes in emergency rooms.
  •  Automated external defibrillators
    • They are designed to be used by persons who are not professionals since it requires little or no training to operate. The automated external defibrillators have the technology for the proper analysis of heart rhythms. This means that it doesn’t require an expert to determine whether or not a rhythm is shockable.

The Medical Benefits of Defibrillators

Defibrillations is usually a crucial step in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an algorithm based intervention which focuses on restoring the pulmonary and cardiac function. It is indicated only in a select type of cardiac dysrhythmias especially ventricular fibrillation as well as pulseless ventricular tachycardia. When the heart has stopped as in the case with pulseless electrical activity or asystole, defibrillation is not indicated. Also, if the patient has a pulse, then defibrillation is not indicated. It is also imperative to note that when the electrical shocks are not given properly, it can lead to dangerous dysrhythmias like ventricular fibrillation. Below are additional benefits of defibrillators
  • The biggest advantage of a defibrillator is probably the fact that it saves lives. Currently, cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death. When cardiac arrest attacks you, chances that you will survive the ordeal are slim. So, defibrillators come in as a life saver in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. They help to deliver an electrical shock to the heart to restore the rhythm at just the right time. When it is used in good time, the chances of survival become high.
  • Employers and companies benefit. A defibrillator in the workplace especially an automated external defibrillator is able to raise the profile of a company. It shows that the employer has put enough measures to protect the employee
  • Since defibrillators can be used in emergency cases, they save a great deal of time thus improving the survival odds as they can be used before an emergency medical services.
The above are some of the types and advantages of using defibrillators.
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