Home Use Defibrillator Gets Go-Ahead

It can shock a failed heart back into rhythm

THURSDAY, Nov. 14, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- You can now own your own version of one of the most recognizeable medical devices in the world -- the defibrillator.

We often see this machine on television medical dramas when the doctor stands over an unconscious patient and yells "Clear!" Two paddles are then applied to the chest, and an electric jolt passes through the body in an effort to get the heart beating again or to get it back into a normal rhythm.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now approved the defibrillator for at-home use, although it's going to be expensive. The approved device is called the Heartstart defibrillator, made by Philips Electronics, and it will cost just under $3,000. You'll also need a doctor's prescription in order to buy one.

Sudden cardiac arrest kills about 220,000 Americans every year. Many of them die because of the time it takes for paramedics to arrive with a defibrillator.

Here is the information about HeartStart from Philips.

Defibrillation devices are coming onto the market in ever-increasing numbers. Earlier this year, the FDA approved this defibrillator that can be implanted in heart patients to regulate irregular heartbeats.

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