Defibrillator News

A defibrillator is a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart in order to stop a heart attack or a dangerous arrhythmia. Portable defibrillators have become more commonplace in recent years, and the ones available for public use are known as automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.A defibrillator is the only tool that can restore a normal heart rhythm during a heart attack, and most of them are simple enough for almost anyone to use effectively. The device monitors the rhythm of the heart and delivers an electric shock if necessary to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. The American Red Cross estimates that for every minute that goes by without using a defibrillator, the chances of a person’s survival decrease by 10 percent.

Organization Positions on Defibrillators

Because defibrillators have proven so effective at saving lives, a number of prominent health organizations have made strong statements in recent years about their use. The Red Cross, for example, supports the notion that a combination of CPR and defibrillation is the best emergency method for treating a heart attack. Further, its goal is for defibrillators to be so available publicly that everyone is within four minutes of an AED and an individual who's trained to use it.

The American Heart Association adds that all emergency personnel should be trained to use a defibrillator and that all ambulances and other emergency vehicles should be equipped with them. The Heart Association also recommends that areas with large gatherings of people should always be equipped with defibrillators, including sports stadiums, office buildings, factories, airports and the like. Many companies also have designated emergency responders who are trained to use the machines in the event of an emergency caused by cardiac arrest or a dangerous arrhythmia.

SOURCES: American Red Cross; American Heart Association

Date Posted
Article Title
This Mistake Can Cost Athletes' Lives in Cardiac Arrest

Bystanders often get distracted by a non-life-threatening issue, research shows

Bystander CPR Less Likely in Black Neighborhoods

People living in these areas may have less education about cardiac arrest and CPR, researchers say

Racial Gap Narrows for Survival of Hospitalized Cardiac Arrest Patients

Difference stems from resuscitation, researchers report

Fewer Heart Failure Patients Dying of Cardiac Arrest

Researchers chock it up to better meds, as patients live longer and better

Workers Unprepared for Heart Emergencies on the Job: Survey

Most employees are untrained in first aid and CPR and don't know where to find lifesaving equipment

Cardiac Arrest? Someday, Drones May Come to Your Rescue

Like something from a science fiction movie, the machines can fly in carrying life-saving equipment

Implantable Defibrillator May Not Mean End to Sports

Risks for athletes might be lower than once believed, study says

Bystander CPR Not Only Saves Lives, It Lessens Disability: Study

Good Samaritans can help prevent brain damage, nursing home care for cardiac arrest victims

Just 17 U.S. States Require Defibrillators in Some Schools

Easy-to-use portable devices can prevent deaths from sudden cardiac arrest, researchers say

ATMs, Coffee Shops Ideal Spots for Heart Defibrillators

Having the devices easily accessible might save the lives of more cardiac arrest victims

Shocks From Implanted Defibrillators Trigger Health Costs of Their Own

Even when the shock was inappropriate, many people still got invasive medical procedures afterwards, study finds

Implanted Defibrillators Benefit Seniors: Study

Nearly 80 percent of patients were alive 2 years after getting device that restores normal heart rhythm

Study Ties Implanted Defibrillators to Long-Term Complications

But benefits of these lifesaving devices outweigh risks, expert says

Wearable 'Defibrillator-in-a-Vest' May Help Some Heart Patients

But more research is needed, American Heart Association says

Statewide Training on Cardiac Arrest Saves Lives in N. Carolina

Quick action by family members, general public improved survival and recovery, study says

High-Rise Living May Lower Your Chances of Surviving Cardiac Arrest

Above the 16th floor, odds of staying alive after heart stops are slim, study finds

Implanted Defibrillators Help Women as Much as Men: Study

For heart failure patients with the devices, death risk over 3-year period was 20 percent lower

Lifesaving Defibrillators Often Behind Locked Doors, Study Finds

Devices that shock heart rhythm back to normal were not available 25 percent of time in emergencies

Many Critically Ill Patients Lack 'Do Not Resuscitate' Orders

After surviving cardiac arrest, only one in four let doctors know their wishes, study finds

Implanted Defibrillators Restore Healthy Heart Function to Many: Study

Findings underscore need to repeatedly check up on patients who get these devices, researcher says

Better Treatments Helping People With Enlarged Hearts Live Longer: Study

People with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are benefiting from defibrillators, other advances

Good Heart Health May Help Stave Off Dementia, Study Says

Poorer cardiac function linked to doubled odds for mental decline

Effectiveness of Implanted Defibrillators May Depend on Patient's Age

They extended survival in those at high risk for sudden cardiac death, but those over 70 saw less benefit, study found

72,000 Cases of Public Defibrillators Failing in Past Decade, FDA Says

Agency vows action to boost the effectiveness of the life-saving devices

Implanted Defibrillators May Help Patients With Moderate Heart Failure

Devices could extend life and bolster guidelines for their use, researchers say

Men Who Have Insurance Most Likely to Get Implanted Defibrillators: Study

Results show importance of adhering to guidelines, researcher says

Solar Flares Might Actually Help Some Heart Patients

Patients with implanted cardiac devices had smoother rhythms when sun 'storms' erupted, study found

Study Questions FDA Warning Against CT Scans for Those With Heart Devices

It found no harm to patients with devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, but agency still concerned

Could You Work the Device That Restarts Hearts?

U.S. health officials recommend learning to use publicly placed defibrillators

Implanted Devices Might Someday Run on Energy From Nearby Organs

Animal study finds way to harness power from internal motions

FDA Renews Warning on HeartStart Defibrillator Failures

Owners of the recalled Philips automated external defibrillators advised to contact the company