Types of external and internal defibrillator

Defibrillators DEA, DESA, Manual & ICD

Types of defibrillators What defibrillator to choose?

Electric shock has been the only effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation for several decades, a defibrillator is used to deliver this electric shock clinically. A defibrillator is a device that delivers electrical energy or shock to the heart.

The objective of using a defibrillator is to treat cardiac arrest, it is often said that an electrical problem electrical treatment, since when the patient has a chaotic electrical rhythm called ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (potentially fatal arrhythmias) the only way to respect that rhythm is by means of an electric shock emitted by a defibrillator.

Defibrillators consist of an energy capacitor, heart rate analyzer, and adhesive electrode patches. (or shovels). The adhesive electrodes are the patches that are placed on the patient's chest, and through these the electric shock is administered directly to the indicated area.


External defibrillators & ICD internal defibrillator

At present we can find different types of eternal and internal defibrillators:

  1. Manual external defibrillator

  2. Manual internal defibrillator

  3. Automated external defibrillator (AED)

  4. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

  5. Portable cardiac defibrillator


Defibrillator type | Manual external defibrillator


These manual external defibrillators they require more experience and training to handle them effectively. Therefore, they are only common in hospitals and in some ambulances where personnel are trained to use them. In this type of manual external defibrillator, the user (health care provider) must know how to interpret the different heart rhythms, recognize the shockable rhythms and then manually determine the voltage (joules) to be administered, through external paddles or adhesive electrodes, on the chest of the patient.

The manual defibrillator is the typical one we see in the movies when they say “everyone out” and the operator of this manual defibrillator is always qualified medical personnel with an intermediate or advanced life support course.



Defibrillator type | Automated external defibrillator (AED)


El Automated External Defibrillator (AED) These are defibrillators that use computer technology, which facilitates the analysis of the heart rhythm and efficiently determines if the rhythm is shockable.

DEA DESA defibrillators can be found in medical facilities, government offices, airports, hotels, sports stadiums, and schools. They basically have an algorithm that interprets the heart rhythm designed to only detect those deadly rhythms (ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardias)

Within the group of automated external defibrillators we can find fully automatic defibrillators (DEA) or semi-automatic defibrillators (DESA)

In fully automatic defibrillators the user does not have to press any button to deliver the shock, the device does everything it analyzes and if it is necessary to shock the same device will take care of applying it without anyone pressing the button. 

Then we have the semi-automatic automated external defibrillator in which the defibrillator performs the analysis, but the shock is not delivered until the user presses the shock button.

This type of defibrillator is found, for example, in the Madrid Metro. 

In Spain the semi-automatic external defibrillator, DESA, is usually called DESA, and it is the most common to find in our country. Most of the defibrillators in Spain are semiautomatic. 

Both fully automatic and semi-automatic defibrillators are very safe to use, since the machine through an analysis algorithm is responsible for deciding whether to give an electric shock or not. 

The user of the DEA DESA defibrillator is the general publicSince it hardly needs training, the course (link to our online store course) can be done by all the population interested in learning how to save lives. As we comment These defibrillators are available to everyone, since they are scattered throughout the geography in shopping centers, airports, bus stations, subways, football stadiums, neighborhood communities and homes.



Defibrillator type | Manual internal defibrillator


Manual internal defibrillators use internal paddles to deliver the electrical shock directly to the heart. They are used with the rib cage open, so they are only common in the operating room or cardiac intensive care unit. These internal paddles were invented after 1959.

The type of user is a more specific staff that works in specialized units normally cardiac-thoracic surgery and cardiac intensive care units that include these internal paddles in their cardiac arrest cart that are connected to the manual defibrillator through a special connector.

To improve skills in its use, there is a special course in Spain on Advanced Life Support in Cardiac Surgery called CALS taught by SEMICYUC.



Defibrillator type | Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)


Another name for this is implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). They constantly monitor the patient's heart, similar to a pacemaker, and can detect ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation. When an abnormal rhythm is detected, the device automatically determines the voltage of the shock to restore heart function.

These devices are small like the approximate size of a pocket watch weighing approximately 70 grams. Typically, the procedure to implant a heart device is performed under local anesthesia and does not require open-heart surgery, with most patients returning home within 24 hours.


 José Luis Corcuera, a former interior minister of Spain, was giving an interview on Susanna Griso's morning show when her DAI went off.


Defibrillator type | External defibrillator vest


The portable cardiac defibrillator, which is a portable external defibrillator generally indicated for patients who do not have an immediate need for an ICD. This device is capable of monitoring the patient 24 hours a day. It only sends a shock to the heart when necessary.

This electro-medical device is indicated under medical prescription, an example of this type of one-person defibrillator is the LifeVest®, a cardioverter defibrillator vest (CDC) used by patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). The CDC LifeVest is worn directly against the patient's skin.



For more information on defibrillators you can contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or our free phone number 900 670 112.

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Installation of external defibrillators, maintenance, spare parts, repairs, training and use of the defibrillator, registration in Autonomous Communities.

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Telephone: + 34 911 250 500
E-mail: salvavidas@salvavidas.com

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