You must have watched a myriad of movies where a doctor shocked a patient back to life by shooting a jolt of electricity onto the patient’s chest and yelling “Clear.” Ever wondered what that machine was?
Such a life-saving machine, which can look a little bit like two irons (at least in the movies), is a heart shock device called a defibrillator. Medically, this device is better known as Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
While digging up some of the medical histories of the cardiac patients, it has been observed that most of them suffered from sudden cardiac arrest while being in the comfort of their homes. The sad truth is that many patients lost their lives before help arrived from 911, due to a lack of effective CPR and lack of access to a defibrillator at home.
- What Does AED Mean?
- AED Machine Benefits: What Does an AED Do?
- AED Machine Benefits: Where Can I Buy a Portable Defibrillator?
- Final verdict
Do not make the mistake of associating a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) with only seniors. SCA can happen to anyone, irrespective of their age, and at any time. There are many documented cases of healthy, active individuals suffering from cardiac injury. Biggest Loser coach and health expert Bob Harper suffered a heart attack. Therefore, there are many home AED machine benefits , and a portable AED should be at least considered as a part of your home’s first aid kit.
Perhaps you have these questions:
- What does an AED do?
- How to use a defibrillator?
You’ve come to the right place. This is the right article for you. Read on till the end of this article to get a comprehensive overview of a home AED machine benefits and how to use a defibrillator.
What Does AED Mean?
The American Red Cross has stated that an AED or automated external defibrillator is a medical device that is used extensively to shoot an electric shock to the patient’s heart and make it start pumping blood again in a regular rhythm.
A defibrillator, colloquially called a heart shock device, is compact, lightweight, portable, and runs on batteries. This is one of those rare medical devices that have been used to save millions of lives worldwide.
AED Machine Benefits: What Does an AED Do?
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition where, due to cardiac malfunctions of a patient, the heart starts to be beating irregularly and eventually stops. Ventricular fibrillation is the observed potent cause of SCA in most cases, and this is precisely where a defibrillator comes to the rescue. To know more about SCA and its symptoms, click here.
The sole job of a defibrillator is first to analyze the heart’s rhythm of the patient, and if needed, deliver an electric shock directly to the heart to bring an unsynchronized heart rhythm (arrhythmia) back to normal.
How Does a Defibrillator Work?
A portable AED machine has an in-built computer and uses adhesive electrodes to ensure the current heart rhythm of the patient. If the need for defibrillation is detected by the machine (post calculating the heart rhythms), then the same is prompted by a digital recorded voice to the rescuer (in this case, a family member) to press the shock button on the count of 3.
Shooting an electric shock from the electrodes of the AED to the patient’s heart temporarily stunts the heart. For better understanding, you could say that it helps to “restart” the patient’s heart so that it can resume beating in a synchronous rhythm.
How to Use a Defibrillator?
It is imperative for you to effectively use an external defibrillator to follow the steps mentioned below. The following steps are recommended by the American Red Cross, which can be safely used on a child aged 8 years or older and for an adult:
- Switch on your portable AED machine and listen carefully to the recorded audio and/or visual prompts.
- Remove the shirt from the person’s chest and use a clean cloth to wipe the area clean.
- Next, take out the AED electrode pads and, if need be, plug it into the connector.
- You need to push the “analyze” button for the defibrillator to start analyzing the patient’s cardiac rhythm.
- No one must stand close to the patient during defibrillation. Ask everyone to step back and clear the area.
- After analyzing, your home AED will prompt you to deliver a shock to the person if any abnormality is found.
- Before you deliver the electric shock to the person, make sure that you are not physically touching the patient. Stand clear and maintain a distance before delivering the shock.
- Press the “shock” button once the AED prompts. Once the shock is delivered, begin CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). To learn more about CPR, click here.
- You should perform 2 minutes of CPR consisting of about 5 cycles and follow further prompts from the AED.
- Discontinue CPR and start breath monitoring of the patient as soon as you see any visible signs of life.
Why is Defibrillation Important in CPR?
If a list of effective therapeutic methods is made for cardiac arrest, then defibrillation is the method that will undoubtedly top the list. If your loved one is, unfortunately, suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), then you need to act as quickly as a flash of lightning because, in such critical cases, every minute counts.
At home, a premium quality portable AED machine has been proven to be the most successful treatment for ventricular fibrillation (VF). Therefore, the need to use a defibrillator at the earliest is always recommended by medical professionals.
It is beneficial to know that a popular study stated that the chances of survival for the patient are the highest when defibrillation is delivered within the first three minutes of the collapse from SCA.
AED Machine Benefits: Where Can I Buy a Portable Defibrillator?
After being aware of how crucially important it is to have a portable AED machine at home, you might be wondering, “Where can I buy a portable defibrillator?”
Purchasing a critical medical device from a regular e-commerce website is usually not recommended due to the lack of proper authenticity. If you are planning to get a home AED, then you should always buy one from trusted, authentic e-health stores like Heartsmart.
The importance of this machine has also led different manufacturers to produce different AEDs, thus flooding the market with a plethora of these heart shock devices. Choosing one from the lot might be an overwhelming task, especially if you are a first-time buyer.
AED Machine Benefits: Top 3 defibrillators that have stood the test of time
Among the plethora of defibrillators available in the market, the following are the ones that have been voted the highest by customers:
Boasting an 8-Year manufacturer’s warranty, the Philips HeartStart AED is a product that has been trusted by thousands all across the globe.
This easy-to-use portable AED machine is built on the latest technology of SMART Biphasic Therapy that enables the user to maximize or minimize the energy dose to suit perfectly the need of the patient. With the guided audio instructions, you can never go wrong while using this device.
The Defibtech Lifeline is a fully-automatic AED for home use, with the best-in-class features that are crucial to treating sudden cardiac arrest. The simple-to-use user interface, and proper guided instructions with brightly lit status indicators, make this defibrillator one of the most favorable choices for many.
The HeartSine Samaritan 360P AED comes equipped with integrated Smart Pads that are highly sensitive to sensing and activating the machine after it has been removed from the cartridge and placed on the patient’s skin. The quick shock feature of this home AED significantly minimizes the time between shock deliveries and hands-off.
It is an undeniable fact that defibrillators are critical life-saving machines that every household should possess, especially if you have a family member who has cardiac problems. The benefits of using the best AED for the home have been discussed throughout the article, and we hope that all your pestering queries have also been answered.
As far as the quality and effectiveness of a portable AED machine are concerned, you should never opt for a cheap AED unless, of course, you are lucky enough to find a good sales discount from an authentic e-health site.
Defibrillators are evolving with the advancement of medical sciences, and the future of home AEDs looks bright with a lot more functionalities added for an even better user experience.
For more information on Cardiac Nursing, check these out:
- Learn Cardiac Pacemaker Concepts with the Pacemaker Power App
- What Does a Cardiac Nurse Do?
- The Ballet of V-Fib: A Glimpse into the World of a Cardiac Critical Care Nurse