Sudden cardiac arrest means that the heart unexpectedly and abruptly quits beating. This is often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). This VF rhythm is caused by abnormal and very fast electrical activity in the heart. VF is chaotic and unorganized; the heart quivers and cannot effectively pump blood. VF is short lived and will deteriorate to asystole (a flat line) if not treated promptly.
Defibrillation is an electrical current applied to the chest. The electrical current passes through the heart with the goal of stopping the abnormal rhythm and providing an opportunity for the heart's normal electrical system to take control.
Many city recreation centers are now equipped with automated external defibrillator (AED) machines. An AED can help the heart recognize electrical activity so it can pump blood again. While hoping to never have to use them, the AED machines can save a life in the case of sudden cardiac arrest. Since survival rates decrease by 10 percent for every minute that goes by without CPR and a defibrillator, time is of the essence. Having the option to grab an AED right away can make all the difference.
Once connected via two electrode patches, the automated external defibrillators register a patient’s vital signs. Many AEDs now have voice guidance. For example, the Lifeline VIEW Semi-Automatic Defibrillator by Defibtech even offers a full-color interactive display with a step-by-step video for performing CPR, rescue breathing and the external defibrillation. The VIEW voice prompts will guide you through the rescue sequence. Once the vital signs are registered it will tell you if a shock is advised or not advised.
The VIEW is lightweight, less than 3 pounds with the battery installed. It runs automatic self-tests to ensure it is ready when needed. The battery and pads have expiration dates programmed into them. They will automatically alert the AED administrator of the expiration date. The status can also be displayed on the screen. Batteries should be replaced on a regular basis and certainly before expiration.
Recreation center staff members should be trained in CPR. Using CPR, along with the AED, may increase the chance of patient survival. AED machines in recreation centers are very good decisions.
You may also enjoy reading "Is Untrained CPR Better Than No CPR."