AEDs when used within the first 3‐5 minutes of a person suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can dramatically increase a victims chance of survival from less 5% to as much as 70%. AEDs were designed to be used by virtually anyone with little or no experience.
An AED will automatically analyse the heart rhythm of a pulse less victim and, if the victim is in ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT), shock the victim’s heart in an attempt to restore its rhythm to normal. AEDs will not shock patients who do not require a shock.
When a heart is in VF, it is still receiving nerve impulses from the brain. These impulses are simply firing so chaotically that the heart cannot produce a “beat”; it cannot expel enough blood to keep the circulatory system flowing through the body. Brain cells begin to die after 4‐6 minutes of oxygen deprivation.
The heart will continue its uncoordinated twitching or fluttering until it is no longer receiving electrical impulses from the brain and thus stops all together, or until the heart is shocked back into a normal rhythm, which is where an AED comes in. An AED stops the heart from its spasm by shocking it. This allows the nerve impulses a chance to resume their normal pattern, which, in turn, allows the heart to resume beating at its normal pace.
The ONLY definitive treatment for ventricular fibrillation (VF) is DEFIBRILLATION