How does a Defibrillator work?

June 21, 2021

Many people see defibrillators in movies or TV series as this mystical device that manages to wake people up from near to death situations. This has lead to a lot of misconceptions about what a defibrillator actually does. In this blog, we will cover the purpose of a Defibrillator as well as what it is and how it works.

What is a Defibrillator?

Also known as Automated External Defibrillator (AED)Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator (WCD)

Defibrillators are devices that restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. They are used to prevent or correct an arrhythmia, a heartbeat that is uneven or that is too slow or too fast. Defibrillators can also restore the heart’s beating if the heart suddenly stops.

Different types of defibrillators work in different ways. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are in many public spaces, were developed to save the lives of people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Even untrained bystanders can use these devices in an emergency.

Other defibrillators can prevent sudden death among people who have a high risk of life-threatening arrhythmia. They include implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), which are surgically placed inside your body, and wearable cardioverter defibrillators (WCDs), which rest on the body. It can take time and effort to get used to living with a defibrillator, and it is important to be aware of possible risks and complications.

How does a Defibrillator work?

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. A normal heart rate should be regular and between 60 and 100 beats a minute when you’re resting. You can measure your heart rate by checking your pulse on your wrist or neck. Certain situations can trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation, including; drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, particularly binge drinking. being overweight (read about how to lose weight) drinking lots of caffeine, such as tea, coffee or energy drinks.

Sometimes your heart can go into a spasm and fibrillate causing the heart to stop circulating blood around your body correctly. This is what most people know as a heart attack. In order to stop this attack from happening the heart needs to be reset, a defibrillator uses an electric pulse to temporarily stop the heart. Stopping the heart may sound like a thing that you should never do if you want to but in this case, it could save someone’s life. Stopping the heart causes the heart to stop beating irregularly and gives it chance to reset and return to a normal pace.

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