An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.
SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival. Using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save the person’s life.
Watch this fun and informational video about AEDs from our friends at Philips Healthcare
How do AEDs work?
To understand how AEDs work, it helps to understand how the heart works.
The heart has an internal electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. With each heartbeat, an electrical signal spreads from the top of the heart to the bottom. As the signal travels, it causes the heart to contract and pump blood. The process repeats with each new heartbeat.
Problems with the electrical system can cause abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause the heart to stop pumping blood to the body. These arrhythmias cause SCA.
The most common cause of SCA is an arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). In v-fib, the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers) don’t beat normally. Instead, they quiver very rapidly and irregularly.
In people who in ventricular fibrillation, an electric shock from an AED can restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on someone having SCA also can improve his or her chance of survival.
An AED is programmed to tell rescuers exactly what to do using voice and visual prompts. Rescuers attach adhesive electrode pads to the person’s chest. Through these electrodes, the AED is designed to automatically analyze the electrical activity of the heart to determine if a “shockable” rhythm is present.
With voice prompts and pictures the AED guides rescuers through the resuscitation process, advising when to give CPR. If the AED determines the person’s heart needs a shock, it tells rescuers to stand back so a shock can be safely given through the adhesive electrode pads affixed to the person’s chest. (Note: Some AED models will tell the user to push a button to shock and then ‘stand clear’ of the victim, while others are fully automatic and will automatically give the shock after giving rescuers a ‘stand clear’ warning.)
The delivery of an electrical shock to a heart experiencing SCA briefly stops all electrical activity in the heart. This brief break from the previous electrical chaos can be enough for the heart to restart with a normal rhythm.
Not everyone can be saved from SCA, even with defibrillation. But early defibrillation, especially when delivered within three to five minutes of a person’s collapse from SCA, does provide the best chance for survival.
You often find AEDs in places with large numbers of people, such as shopping malls, golf courses, businesses, airports, airplanes, casinos, convention centers, hotels, sports venues, and schools. You also can purchase a home-use AED.
(a special thanks to our friends at the National Institutes of Health and Physio Control for the previous content )
Bravo Zulu recommends the Philips HeartStart Onsite AED
Available without a prescription, the HeartStart OnSite Defibrillator is designed with innovative technology, based on extensive research and user feedback, that has produced a defibrillator so easy to set up and use that you can potentially save the life of a co-worker, friend, or anyone else stricken with sudden cardiac arrest. Weighing just 3.3 lbs., this small and lightweight defibrillator can be easily carried to the victim’s side.
Using clear, natural voice instructions, the HeartStart OnSite Defibrillator guides you through each step of defibrillation. Designed to not slow you down or leave you behind, it paces and adapts voice instructions to your actions every step of the way. It even reminds you to call emergency medical services (EMS). On-demand CPR Coaching helps the stressed user recall their training.
Ready when needed. Every meticulously built HeartStart OnSite Defibrillator goes through a 120 point test before it leaves the factory. On the job, the OnSite automatically conducts self-tests every single day, not just weekly. It performs over 80 different tests in all. Even the pads are tested for readiness.
Effective. Philips pioneered the use of biphasic waveforms in external defibrillators. The electric medicine delivered by the HeartStart OnSite has been rigorously studied, with more than 40 studies demonstrating high first shock efficacy and effectiveness across the full spectrum of patients. Philips SMART Biphasic therapy uses a unique combination of high current to maximize effectiveness and a lower energy dose to minimize side effects that are harmful to a fragile heart. The result – the HeartStart OnSite delivers its maximum shock strength starting with the first shock.
- Easy-to-use guided interactive voice instructions
- Senses and adapts to your actions
- Provides CPR coaching
- Based on industry-leading technology
- Only treats shock able heart rhythms
- Runs daily self-tests for readiness
- Virtually no maintenance needed
- Ready to use when you need it
HeartStart comes with everything you need to be ready to help save a life
Make the most of CPR. Recent studies have shown that CPR is even more vital to survival than previously realized. Yet its benefits dissipate in seconds. Delivering a shock quickly after chest compressions is critical. The HeartStart OnSite’s Quick Shock feature delivers therapy in just 8 seconds (typical) after chest compressions. Other devices can take 2 or 3 three times that, reducing the likelihood of shock success, and potentially, survival.
Give your early defibrillation program the best chance for success. Your HeartStart Onsite arrives to you virtually ready-to-rescue out of the box, with device pre-installed in carry case, and battery and pads pre-installed in the device. The Ready-Pack is designed to be the simplest-to-deploy AED, giving you the peace of mind that it is deployed correctly, with less effort. The simple and welcoming set-up and maintenance instructions are designed to take the intimidation out of owning a defibrillator. And the added consultation and support from the staff at Bravo Zulu will make setting up and maintaining your AED easy and worry free.
Priced as low as $999.00!!!
All HeartStart Onsite AEDs include a soft case and AED Prep Kit [contains personal protective equipment (CPR barrier device and gloves) as well as items that support AED use (paramedic shears, razor and towelette)]
Medical direction and oversight
We also offer a medical direction and oversight service that provides subscribers:
- An AED prescription (in states requiring it) and full medical direction from a team of state-specific physicians
- Written policy and procedure manuals approved and updated by our Medical Direction Team
- Automatic AED registration with your local Emergency Medical Services for “Good Samaritan Law” compliance
- Monthly AED check reminders to assure your AED is functioning accurately
- Post-event data review by a physician should you ever use your AED in a resuscitation attempt
- And more!
Priced as low as $120.00 per year (per device)!!!
Contact Bravo Zulu today for more information on sales and service.