AED – A Closer Look

Have you ever tried to call 911, or have you used some emergency response unit? Emergency medical response teams are known to take varying amounts of time before arriving at the scene, which can range from 8 to 25 minutes anywhere. Only waiting for help can be lost precious minutes. Fortunately, it invented the automated external defibrillator.

Maintaining a healthy heart is not just about careful diet and regular exercise, we’ve heard that all too often, but about 350,000 people die a year in the U.S. as a result of sudden heart arrests, or SCA. We can’t say they didn’t follow the orders of the doctor. You can never say when it’s going to happen. That being said, it may just turn out to be one of the best investments ever made, especially for those with a heart condition with an aed at home.

You may have noticed that there are automated defibrillators on display in some public places where people gather. These are predominantly red or yellow in colour, so they can not be overlooked by men. In the effort to reduce deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest, this has become a crucial part. But what if you’re in a position where such facilities don’t have immediate access? Say you’re on a road trip, or barbecue in your backyard, your family or anyone who’s going to help can’t possibly go to the nearest deli and ask them: “May I please have your Zoll AED?” Awareness of one’s heart condition is good, but awareness alone won’t be enough. Even if you’re trained medical professionals, there isn’t much you could do without the proper equipment. There are situations where it may not be enough to have CPR alone. So what if you’re not a qualified physician? What are you going to do then? That’s when you need a home AED, or portable AED. You can take it almost anywhere. It’s lightweight and user-friendly.

Normally these external portable defibrillators weigh around 5 kilograms, even less. Sometimes they’re just as large as the laptop bags, often smaller. Getting one handy can save lives because every minute of waiting for the emergency team decreases the survival of a person by 7-10%. Studies have been carried out and in most cases the life of the victim can be saved in the early minutes by using a defibrillator, usually within 3-4 minutes of the arrest. If each household with a person with a heart condition uses a home AED, the chance of survival is dramatically increased.

Some would propose the fully automated design, where only the initial electrical shocks need to be administered in the consumer, the AED will do the rest, if it needs shock it will provide it alone. There is also the semi-automated model that analyzes the heart rhythm of the victim and then prompts the rescuer to apply the electrodes if defibrillation is required. There are also models that record ECG data for medical staff’s future reference. This can be very helpful in tracking a person.