Defibrillators How does defibrillation really work?

To know how a external defibrillator The first thing we need to know is: What is a cardiac arrest? ventricular fibrillation?

Our heart is a hollow muscle. By contracting this muscle, which is also called the heartbeat, blood is pumped from the heart into the circulation and the heart chambers re-receive blood through muscle relaxation. In order for this muscle to contract, it receives an electrical impulse from above the heart, a place called the sinus node.

In general, the sinus node gives our heart an average beat order from 60 to 80 times per minute, so the heart muscle contracts from 60 to 80 times, pumping blood into our circulation. The honeys of heart muscle cells can generate electrical impulses in a coordinated way under normal conditions, these electrical impulses are recorded when we make an electrocardiogram.

When certain diseases or damage to the heart occur, an electric chaos can be triggered in these cells, generating electrical impulses in a disordered manner, which we call ventricular fibrillation. These heart diseases can be congenital or damage due to heart attacks, a strong impact on the chest ... etc.

Ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest and defibrillator

Ventricular fibrillation causes the heart muscle not to contract properly. There is no blood in the blood vessels and, therefore, no blood reaches the brain. After a few seconds, the patient is completely unconscious and dies a few minutes later, if he does not immediately relive it.

To end this electrical chaos, you need a short and strong wave that "silences" almost all the cells. To do this, connect the electrodes of the defibrillator to the patient and if the device indicates it, we proceed to press a button to give the electric discharge. As a result, the sinus node again has the opportunity to transmit normal impulses, restoring electrical order.

History of lives saved by the use of defibrillators

For example, a woman from Madrid, about 50 years ago who was in a cafe and collapsed there suffering a cardiac arrest, after the arrival of the toilets that used a defibrillator They were able to save his life. The patient was discharged from the hospital after three days, and after a year of what has happened he is still in good health.

A person over 70 years collapsed in a shopping center in Madrid due to cardiorespiratory arrest, health and safety personnel of the shopping center took a defibrillator that was nearby to revive the patient. First a CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) maneuver was performed until the arrival of the defibrillator, to then use the defibrillator The man was transferred to a health center with stable vital signs.

Every life saved is very important that's why it is recommended to have sites everywhere that have external defibrillators. A study indicates that in places where there have been two people with cardiac arrests a year should have as a precaution a defibrillator

Massive assistance sites such as shopping centers, stadiums, restaurants, hotels, schools, cinemas must have not only the defibrillator but also trained personnel to provide first aid assistance and the use of defibrillator Like a fire extinguisher, defibrillators should be located in strategic locations and with good signage to be used in case of emergencies.

DEAs are often found in industrial and public areas giving access to as many people as possible. There are many laws regarding the location of defibrillators in public buildings, but they tend to vary from one community to another. Defibrillators are commonly used by police, security personnel, firefighters and lifeguards, and have proved that they can save lives. In addition, AEDs can be used in children over eight years of age who weigh at least 25kg.

Studies have shown that a proven device in schools, offices and settings is equally effective in private homes.

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