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A defibrillator for all heart stops

The survival chain is a concept that appears in the Vital Support Recommendation Guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council on a series of actions that must be performed when handling a possible cardiac arrest in order to increase the survival rate. 

The chain of survival is formed by a series of links, where the first is as important as the last and where the importance lies in that intimate union and coordination between them. 

Next we will proceed to briefly explain the different links: 

- In the first link we talk about the early recognition of what is happening to avoid if it is possible that this person reaches a situation of cardiorespiratory arrest. In short, ask for help, both around us and emergency services. 

- The second link (the person has suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest) includes the realization of quality basic life support with which to maintain a good degree of blood perfusion at the cerebral and cardiac level in order to prevent lesions in these organs that can cause dependence or death. 

- The use of defibrillators will appear in the third link of the survival chain. At this point, there is defibrillation as a fundamental item for the heart to have organized electrical activity again, so that it can continue pumping blood and maintaining the demands demanded by the organism. According to the Guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council, early defibrillation between the first 3-5 minutes at a cardiorespiratory arrest can increase the survival rate by up to 70%. Hence, there is increasing awareness for this link and there are programs for the general public to have access to defibrillation anywhere such as shopping centers, train stations ... Also the important thing about this link is that it is not necessary that this Defibrillation is applied by health personnel, moreover, it is common for this first electric shock to be done by non-health personnel. Today, with automated defibrillators, everyone can safely perform a first early defibrillation without posing a risk to the first intervener or the victim given the security provided by these devices. 

- The last link in the survival chain begins with the arrival of health personnel and the advanced management of cardiorespiratory arrest with medication in order to try to spontaneously restore the heartbeat. Once this is achieved and the patient is stabilized, the transfer to an Intensive Care Unit is required, where this patient is taken care of and progressively recovered until his final discharge at home. 

All these steps described here is what is known as the survival chain, where the first link is as important as the last one. Throughout this chain, non-health personnel will intervene that will act even in the first three links, hence the importance of teaching to the general population and then finally the health personnel that will optimize the functions performed by the lay staff (according to the guides are people who lack sanitary knowledge). 

We have commented that defibrillation is a technique that can be applied by both lay and health personnel. Thus, there will be semi-automatic defibrillators with a greater or lesser degree of complexity depending on which staff will use it. 

In this case, we will stick to the fact that the first participant is not a healthcare professional. The ZOLL company has in its ranks the AED 3 It is a semi-automatic defibrillator that allows to apply an electric shock in a situation of cardiorespiratory arrest either adults or pediatric level. 

These defibrillators are equipped with the latest technology where you can observe the quality of the compressions and if not correct them, as well as a discharge time after very short defibrillation, so that large pauses in compressions are avoided. 

They come equipped with a control screen in which you can see the patient's rhythm strip. In this same screen you can see the depth of the compressions as well as the frequency. There is a timer that will indicate the duration of the event as well as a record that will indicate the number of electric shocks we have provided. 

As the objective is to reduce the pauses between compressions, it is installed with the latest technology to analyze the rhythm as quickly as possible and therefore apply a quick download. 

At the fungible level, the electrodes serve both adult and pediatric patients and have an expiration of up to 5 years. 

Therefore, there are various types of semi-automatic defibrillators, from the simplest to the most advanced such as this model for professionals but all have in common the ability to safely defibrillate safely and without risk to the victim or resuscitator. 


Monsieurs KG, Nolan JP, Bossaert LL, Grief R, Maconochie IK, Nikolaou NI, et al. Recommendations for Resuscitation 2015 of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC). Resuscitation 2015 Oct [cited 16 Jan 2020]; 95: 1-80. doi: 10.1016 / j.resuscitation. 2015.07.038. PubMed PMID: 26477410. 

Zoll.com [Internet] Zoll AED 3 BLS. 

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