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Defibrillators, A Vital Tool In Saving Lives

by Liam Johnson on November 14, 2013

the human body is remarkable. It is able to constantly undertake a multitude of functions, many of which without our conscious thought, until something goes wrong. Following an accident, a medical condition or illness, our health usually becomes the top priority as we realise we can't take it for granted.

One of the most serious conditions that the body can experience is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Although the factors most likely to lead to a SCA are similar to a heart attack, including high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure, Sudden Cardiac Arrest can affect people of all ages, more than half of which have experienced no previous symptoms.

SCA is usually caused by abnormalities in the heart's electrical system, which suddenly stops the heart's ability to effectively pump blood around the body. The victim will quickly lose their pulse, then consciousness, before stopping breathing. Without immediate treatment with a defibrillator, an SCA cannot survive.

Defibrillators send an electric current to the heart that causes a shock, following which the heart usually returns to its normal rhythm. This shock needs to be administered in minutes in order to successfully prevent death. Very few resuscitation attempts succeed after 10 minutes of the SCA. These few short minutes is not long enough to get a victim to hospital, or to call an ambulance, so defibrillators need to be located in places where they can be easily accessed, such as public buildings and in the homes of community volunteers.

Only trained medical professionals can administer a shock to the heart with a manual defibrillator. With greater awareness of how immediate action is required to save the life of a SCA victim, automated or semi-automated external defibrillators were purposely designed to provide simple, clear instructions, so they can be used by members of the public.

Many people feel anxious about the prospect of using such a critical piece of equipment. As a result, all first aid courses will now include training on how to use this lifesaving equipment. When they realise how simple it is to use, most people's confidence grows and with this knowledge, their quick action really could save a life.

If you are present when someone has a SCA, it is important to start CPR, so you help the person to receive oxygen and pump it around their body. Send someone else to locate the nearest defibrillator. Whether you are in a shopping centre, on a ship, at school or walking down the street, staff in public buildings should be able to direct you to the nearest defibrillator location. Once opened, the defibrillator will provide you with clear spoken instructions on what to do.

The Automatic and Semi-Automatic defibrillators are two reliable machines that are suitable for public buildings. Both include integral self-testing technology, so they check their own batteries, pads and hardware daily. They also undertake a self-charge of the electronics on a weekly basis. This makes the equipment low maintenance and dependable.

The fully automatic Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3 administers a defibrillating shock when it is needed, without requiring the user to press a shock button. The semi-automatic version administers a defibrillating shock when the user presses the shock button as part of the instructed process. The equipment knows when to administer the shock, so users can be reassured that if they follow the instructions they can't do it wrong and cause further problems.

Defibrillators are especially important in areas where large numbers of people regularly gather, urban areas where traffic congestion or high rise buildings may prevent paramedics from quickly reaching a victim. Remote and rural communities also need to have defibrillators close at hand. Since the development of the automatic and semi-automatic defibrillator in 1996, nearly 10, 000 have been placed in towns and villages across the U.K. but with an ever growing population this number needs to increase, so more lives can be saved.

For more information on defibrillators, visit the LE West website , which supplies medical equipment and supplies, including the Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3 to hospitals, medical centres, marine vessels and off-shore locations.

Original article published on SooperArticles.com






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