Automated External Defibrillator

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Automated External Defibrillator
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. www.
Placement of Defibrillator Patches:
AED automatically analyzes the patient’s heart rhythm and advises the rescuer whether or not a shock is needed to restore a normal heart beat.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable automatic device used to restore normal heart rhythm to patients in cardiac arrest. It is a life-saving device because cardiac arrest is a sudden condition that is fatal if not treated within a few minutes.
Heart attacks and other conditions can cause ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical signals in the lower part of the heart are uncoordinated and ineffective. Very little blood is pumped from the heart to the body or the lungs. If ventricular fibrillation is not treated, it will result in Cardiac Arrest.
AED applied
An AED consists of a small computer (microprocessor), electrodes, and electrical circuitry. The electrodes collect information about the heart’s rhythm. The microprocessor interprets the rhythm.
If the heart is in ventricular fibrillation, the microprocessor recommends a defibrillating shock. The shock is delivered by adhesive electrode pads, through the victim’s chest wall, and into the heart. The shock from the AED stuns the heart momentarily; stopping all activity. This gives the heart a chance to restart normal electrical activity and resume beating effectively.
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