Automated external defibrillator (AED) the word spelled out a lot, is an electronic device that automatically diagnoses the possibly life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in people and will treat them through defibrillation. The device of electrical therapy which prevents the arrhythmia lets the heart to restore an effectual rhythm. An automated external defibrillator is used at times of life threatening cardiac arrhythmias which leads to cardiac arrest
The device’s usage is restricted to
1. Pulseless Ventricular tachycardia (shortened to VT or V-Tach)
2. Ventricular fibrillation (shortened to VF or V-Fib)
In these two types of electrical cardiac arrhythmia, the heart is active, but in a life-threatening, dysfunctional pattern. In ventricular tachycardia, the heart beats very fast to efficiently pump blood. Eventually, ventricular tachycardia results in ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrically active heart becomes chaotic, preventing the ventricle from efficiently pumping blood. The fibrillation in the heart reduces over time, and will ultimately reach asystole.
AEDs are made to be used by layman who should have received AED training. It is a challenge to more complicated manual and semi-automatic defibrillators used by medical experts, which acts as a pacemaker if the heart rate is becomes too slow (bradycardia) and performs various functions which needs a skilled operator who has knowledge about electrocardiograms.
Most AED units have an ‘event memory’ that stores the ECG of the patient with details of time log during which the unit was activated and the number and strength of shocks given. Few units have voice recording abilities to observe the activities of the patient in order to determine if they were the reason for any attacks. All recorded data either can be downloaded to a computer or printed so that the organization providing the device or responsible personnel can see the efficiency of both CPR and defibrillation.
Medical professionals feel that the home users of this device don’t have appropriate training to handle it and many advocates are the most common users, who can be properly trained and managed. As turned on or opened, the AED will inculcate the attendant to hook up the electrodes to the patient. After which, no one should be touching the patient to ensure accurate readings by the unit.
The electrodes let the AED to study the electrical output from the heart and conclude if the patient is in the appropriate shockable rhythm. If the device concludes that a shock is necessary, it uses the battery to charge the internal capacitor in order to prepare for a shock course. AED is safe and delivers the shocks in efficient time.