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Defibrillator
May 25, 2018

A defibrillator is a machine that can help when ventricular fibrillation happens in the heart of a human. A defibrillator is a life saving device.

Fibrillation happens when many different cells in the heart begin to act as pacemaker cells. This means that many thousands of cells tell the heart to beat, all at different times and with no rhythm. This confusion causes the heart to become unable to move blood around the body. This causes cardiac arrest and death.

A defibrillator sends a high energy pulse from the top-right of the heart to the bottom-middle of the heart. This causes the whole heart to stop all activity. The heart's normal pacemaker then can try and restart normal beating. Defibrillation does not always work. The only effective treatment for a person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the combined administration of CPR and the use of a defibrillator. A defibrillator will deliver an electrical shock to stop the irregular rhythm and allow the heart's natural pacemaker to restart the natural rhythm.

Defibrillation is often an important step in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR is an algorithm-based intervention aimed to restore cardiac and pulmonary function. Defibrillation is indicated only in certain types of cardiac dysrhythmias, specifically ventricular fibrillation (VF) and pulseless ventricular tachycardia. If the heart has completely stopped, as in asystole or pulseless electrical activity (PEA), defibrillation is not indicated. Defibrillation is also not indicated if the patient is conscious or has a pulse. Improperly given electrical shocks can cause dangerous dysrhythmias, such as ventricular fibrillation.

Pacemakers give off only low-energy electrical pulses. They're often used to treat less dangerous heart rhythms, such as those that occur in the upper chambers of your heart. Early defibrillation is a critical component in treating sudden cardiac arrest, and we offer automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to meet the needs of a full range of lay rescuers, first responders, and hospital professionals. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the fact is that only half of the victims will need a shock, but all of them will need high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


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