Defibrillators – The Life Saving Kit

| May 23, 2015

With the increase in the number of sudden deaths due to cardiac arrests, there has been a very urgent requirement of a device that can oppose the effect of ventricular fibrillation in the heart. The defibrillator kit is exactly the solution for heart failure due to fibrillation and has saved uncountable lives since it has been invented. It is a portable device that is capable of detecting the beating of the heart and is then able to defibrillate the effect of a cardiac arrest to save someone’s life.

Defibrillator kit

Defibrillator kit

Who invented Defibrillator kits?

The idea of saving someone from a cardiac arrest using spikes of large voltage provided to the heart. These sudden change in the voltages provided to the heart are capable of opposing the fibrillation and saves the individual by acting as the rhythm of the heart beat helping the heart to restore its normal functioning. The idea is as old as late 19th century when ventricular fibrillation was suggested the cause of the sudden deaths due to cardiac arrests. It was not even a year later when Prevost and Batelli used great voltage to put an end to fibrillation in animals.

However it was only in 1947 when Dr. Claude Beck used alternating current of 60 Hz to save the patient from fibrillation while he was operating on him. The successful trial by Dr. Beck hence led to the formation of a defibrillator kit for use to save the humans from sudden cardiac arrests.

What is a Defibrillator?

The Defibrillator is actually a portable electronically operated device which is capable of detecting the heart beat of a person. If there is a sudden attack, the defibrillator recognizes it and gives the heart an impulsive shock to normalize its functioning. A defibrillator kit is generally known as the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) has become one of the most common necessities of a first aid kit in any school, colleges, office, shopping complexes etc.

How does a Defibrillator kit work?

It is fitted in with a system that can detect and assess the rhythm of the heart by analyzing the heart beat of the person. If the machine detects a ventricular fibrillation in the heart than it sends electric shocks to the heart according to the required level. The kit comes with complete accessories needed to administer defibrillation. It consists of a power generating unit, electrodes and other required accessories.

The defibrillator kits are available in models that can work both externally and internally as required. External ones are used by hospitals and emergency sites. It has to be switched on, the conductive gel has to be applied on the chest and paddle electrodes, the output of electrical energy is decided and the chest of the suffering person is pressed upon by the paddles to deliver the shock. If needed the procedure is repeated 3 – 4 times.

Advances in Technology

With advancement in the technology the defibrillators have taken many shapes and sizes and the current one that we can see has evolved from numerous evolution’s  As mentioned above it was Dr. Claude Beck who used an electrical shock in 1947 to restore a patient’s heartbeat to normalcy. Though then there was no specific kit for this purpose. It was only in 1954 when defibrillation was performed successfully on closed chest of an animal by Milnor and William. Soon after that the first closed chest defibrillation was performed on human in 1956 by Paul Zoll. It was successful.

It was only in 1978 when AED came into the light which bought a revolution in the defibrillation process. It was probably then only when the path was laid for development of current form of defibrillators we see. The AED helped in easy functioning and handling of the device which made it easy to carry and easy to use in emergency situations. From then the defibrillator kits have been saving so many lives all across the globe.

Conclusion

There have been many important inventions in the medical field but defibrillators were surely one of the best inventions for humankind. One should always have a Defibrillator kit as a part of the first aid kit at offices, schools, college etc. It is very important that the kit is used by one who knows all the procedures or in guidance of health expert. The right use of the defibrillator can give the most valued gift to someone – the gift of life.

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