Automated Defibrillator is a computerized lifesaving gadget used to provide an electric shock to a patient who is having a cardiac arrest due to certain conditions, like tachycardia or fibrillation. This is a portable apparatus which can be easily operated by any person even if they are untrained.
This device is smart and accurate, it can detect itself whether a patient (who is having a cardiac arrest) is an eligible candidate to receive an electric shock or not. Though there’s no need for a conventional training to operate these devices, a few hours training would make a person expert to handle these and perform the defibrillation procedure with more confidence and with better safety precautions. Several brands of AEDs (automated external defibrillator) are available already, and none is better than another, hence no particular brand or specific model should be recommended. Defibrillator Price across the brands doesn’t vary too much. American Heart Association also does not endorse any specific brand of AED. And most importantly, no matter which brand or model you have in the time of emergency, the steps to perform defibrillation procedure is exactly the same across the brands and models. The automated voice prompt, which gives instruction to follow while handling the device, is also the same for all the models.
Do one need some specific training to execute the procedure using AED?
No, training is never necessary to carry out the defibrillation process using an AED. Any average person, with average intelligence, with normal mental condition, can follow the instruction given by automated voice prompt and execute the defibrillation process (applying pads in the right area of the chest, then pressing button to give the shock, and staying clear from the body while giving shock) by the defibrillator machine – no matter he/she has medical training or not. In general, they teach how to use an automatic defibrillator machine in the CPR class. The machine would instruct the rescue person when to press the defibrillation button (aka. Shock button) after detecting if the cause of the cardiac arrest is disorganized and irregular heartbeat which would respond to an electric shock. There are certain situations when the cardiac arrest occurred due to a reason which is not a condition that could be reversed by using defibrillation procedure – in that case, the machine itself would inform the rescue person of that situation. Most commonly found heartbeat disorder in the cases of cardiac arrest is Ventricular fibrillation, and then comes ventricular tachycardia.
Are these devices costly?
The cost of these devices is on the lower side, usually $1.5k to $2k. The cost has been decreased in the last couple of years and now they are affordable enough to keep them in all the public places so that any bystander can carry out the procedure in case of emergency.
Do we really need to keep these devices in all the public places instead of hospitals only?
Yes, most definitely! The mortality rate due to the sudden onset of cardiac arrest would be lowered dramatically if we have this gadget handy at all the public places and make people aware of these devices so that they don’t hesitate to use one in the time of need. Minutes or even seconds are important in case of a cardiac situation. Survival rate gets lowered by every passing minute without the help of these devices, when applicable.