Portable Defibrillators 
Implanted Defibrillator Patients Prefer Device Off if Very Ill: Survey: MedlinePlus   
Heart devices can be turned off near end of life 



What is a Defibrillator?

Heart Defibrillator


The shock of your lifeÖ
Sometimes a shock to the system can save your life. Defibrillators, the devices that doctors apply to the chest of people in cardiac arrest in order to shock the heart into beating properly, have saved many lives since they were first invented. The electrical device, which has become familiar to everyone through its perennial use in hospital dramas such as 'ER', could save many more lives if it where more widely available however.
Many people are not aware that heart attacks, or myocardial infarctions to give them their proper name, fall into a number of categories. The most common type of cardiac arrest is known as ventricular fibrillation, because it involves the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart, going into spasm.
These uncoordinated contractions usually return to a regular heartbeat but in some circumstances this does not occur. When the heart remains in spasm, it ceases to pump blood around the body, which quickly leads to the victim falling unconscious. This is a dangerous state for anyone to be in, as it can lead to clinical death within a matter of minutes.
More info:


VIDEO above: Soccer Player Has a Heart Attack and saved by a Defibrillator


When a person has a heart attack, immediate care is vital. A heart attack victim will only survive for a few minutes without help.

So letís start at the beginning Ė What is a heart attack? This video offers a nice explanation:


What causes a heart attack?

Smaller, automated defibrillators available in offices, airports, amusement parks, schools, etc. This video shows how a typical unit is used:


AED defibrillator Powerheart G3 Semi-Automatic user demo Cardiac Science

The heart of a heart defibrillator is a big capacitor. A battery takes perhaps half a minute to charge this capacitor, in the same way that a camera flash charges a capacitor. In this video you can see a typical capacitor from a defibrillator (itís the large item on the right with the red wires), rated at 54 microfarads and 4,200 volts.

Once charged up, this capacitor contains a huge amount of energy (in this case 970 joules). The defibrillator delivers that charge in a millisecond through the paddles, and the hope is that the shock resets the heart so it can begin beating normally.


Heart Defibrillator Saves Boy


ABC News: Cardiac Defibrillators



Defibrillator Educational Video, Part 1 - Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont



Defibrillator Educational Video, Part 2 - Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont


Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Precautionary measures and alternative treatment


External Defibrillators




How to Save a Life with a Portable Defibrillator Video -- 5min

Defibrillators on Amazon

Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator Tutorial for the Patient



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Last updated 06/12/2013