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Re: [TCML] Heart start Philips defibrillator

Since I work at a grade school, I've had to take the Red Cross class on using
the AED (automatic electronic defibrillator). Judging from the couple units
I've seen, including the one we have at school, I can tell you that they are
designed to be very easy to use by lay people. These units are made to correct
the electronic signal of the heart, should it go into "V-fib", Ventricular
fibrillation. At this point the heart is still "beating", but in such a way as
to no longer be effective. The AED reads the rhythm for the user, something, I
must say, that was probably one of the hardest things to learn to do when I
went through paramedics training (A very loooong time ago!) The machine
actually "talks" to the user, leading them step by step into what to do next.
Theoretically, this would be a very good investment to have when working around
electricity as we do. However, you obviously need a second person to perform
this on you, should you get "zapped". Secondly, there's the price to consider.
The units I've seen were around $1,000 and up. A hefty price to pay for
something you hope will never be needed. We were taught (in paramedics class)
that even though no rhythm may be seen on the scope ("flat-line"), there still
may be just barely enough signal getting to the heart, to get it going again.
All-in-all, a good investment, if one can afford it.


> I think a defibrillator would be a great addition to any household (just
> in case). But it would be interesting if there are any doctors on the
> list that deal with heart patients and are up to speed on the latest
> data about these home versions. There are of course the situation where
> someone could use the defibrillator while the heart is still beating
> (this would be bad). I think if we ever get a defibrillator in this
> household, I will send the family to be trained (the American Heart
> Association and the Red Cross offer courses). The training would also
> teach them how not to shock themselves with the device.
> Take care,
> Bart

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