Even though the advancements in emergency cardiac care continue to improve the chances of survival for cardiac arrest, it continues to be the leading cause of death in different parts of the globe.
Every year, many individuals die from heart diseases. In most cases, an individual can die abruptly outside of the hospital since their heart stopped beating. Most of these deaths can occur with little or no warning from the syndrome known as sudden cardiac arrest. The common source of this condition is the trouble in the heart rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation. With automated external defibrillators, they are used to help save a life.
What is ventricular fibrillation?
Ventricular fibrillation is considered dangerous since it disrupts the supply of blood to the brain and other bodily organs.
It can be dealt with successfully by the application of an electric blow to the chest of the individual with the procedure known as defibrillation.
In most of the coronary care units, many individuals who suffered from ventricular fibrillation survive since defibrillation is carried out right away. If defibrillation could not be performed within the initial minutes after the onset of ventricular fibrillation, the chances of reviving the individual is poor. Always remember that every minute that passes while an individual is in ventricular fibrillation and without defibrillation, the chances of survival diminishes.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR can provide temporary artificial breathing and circulation. The procedure can provide a limited amount of oxygen and blood to the brain until a defibrillator is available. Nevertheless, defibrillation is the only effective way to resuscitate an individual suffering from ventricular fibrillation.
CPR is considered an essential link in what is known as the survival chain. This chain is comprised of a series of actions that when performed in proper sequence will provide an individual suffering from a heart attack a high change of survival.
- The initial link in the survival chain is timely recognition of cardiac arrest and calling for emergency assistance.
- This is followed by performing early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions until a defibrillator is available.
- After early CPR, the next step is to provide quick defibrillation. In different countries, the computerized defibrillator or automated external defibrillators are available for use.
- Once the medical team arrives, the next link in the chain is effective advanced life support care. This typically involves the administration of medications, utilizing specialized breathing devices and providing extra defibrillation shocks if required.
Operating an automated external defibrillator
- Depending on the brand of AED used, starting the device is simple. All you have to do is to press the “ON” button.
- Once the AED is turned on, it actually speaks in a computer-generated voice that will guide you through the entire procedure.
- You will be prompted to position a set of electrodes with adhesive pads on the bare chest and if it is necessary to plug in the connector of the pads to the AED.
- The AED will automatically assess the ECG rhythm of the individual to determine if a shock is needed. It is important that no contact is made with the individual while the machine is analyzing the ECG.
- Once the machine determines that a shock is required, it will automatically charge itself and prompt you when to press the button that will deliver the shock.
- Once the shock is given, you will be prompted to resume CPR.