What does AED mean?
AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator, an electronic device used for monitoring abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias. It is a helpful medical tool for patients with heart illnesses as not only does it help in checking heart activity but it could also be used as “defibrillator”. Meaning this same device or machine may be used to induce electric shock to the heart to stop the abnormal rhythm and restore normal heart activity.
This portable medical device is specifically used for those patients that experience a “sudden” form of cardiac arrest, which are typically caused by ventricular fibrillation. This condition is life-threatening as it causes a stoppage of blood going to the brain and various vital organs. And when this happens, all the major functions of the body will stop and will lead to death if left untreated or unmanaged. Permanent brain damage may also result if blood flow to the brain is not restored as soon as possible. Through the use of AED for example, ventricular fibrillation may be stopped and normal heart activity could be restored.
And since AED’s are used as a monitoring device also, abnormal heart rhythms are automatically detected. And when this happens, it could immediately prompt medical personnel to use the device and start the defibrillation process, resulting to immediate restoration of normal heart activity, and possibly save more lives. But in cases where access to an AED machine is not immediately available, like in emergency cases outside of hospitals, it may be necessary to perform temporary support to the patient who’s having a cardiac arrest. One temporary support that could be done is called CPR or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. This procedure involves manual pumping of the heart muscle by pushing on the chest area and mixing this with artificial breathing technique through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. CPR helps in assisting the heart to pump out blood to the brain and the other vital organs of the body and at the same time provide oxygen for normal circulation. This procedure is usually done to help restore normal heart activity in person’s who are in cardiac arrest and while there is no AED machine available.
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