Ventricular defibrillation is the cause of a sudden cardiac arrest. There is an electrical system in the heart that controls the rate and rhythm. During this condition the heart beat is in an irregular manner also called as arrhythmia. An arrhythmia can indicate either the heart beating too fast or too slow with an irregular rhythm and it is this which causes a person to experience a sudden cardiac arrest.
Over 300,000 people in the United States experience a sudden cardiac arrest every year and only ten percent of the total victims survive. The person who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest immediately loses consciousness and stops breathing normally and unless treatment is provided in minutes, it is not possible to save the person.
We need to immediately call for help and then proceed to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation and then defibrillation. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is an emergency treatment that is administered to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. It can be given by both professionals and laymen. According to this procedure, the person performing it should press the victim’s chest in a rhythmic pattern so as to allow normal blood flow. It also involves exhaling in to a person so as to fill his lungs with oxygen.
The main purpose of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is to allow oxygen to flow to the brain and heart. To re-start the heart defibrillation is required. Defibrillation is a procedure where through the medium of electric shocks, a regular pattern of heart beat is established. It is done with the help of an automated external defibrillator.
An AED as it is popularly known as is an electronic device that is easily portable. The electrode pads of the device have to be attached to the patient’s chest in order to study the electrical output of the heart. Then, the AED either displays the condition through the help of a visual screen or uses a voice prompt to give instructions to the user as to what to operate in order for a shock to be administered. After that, a re-assessment is done and the need for a second shock is determined and in this way the AED does whatever is required to make the patient’s heart to work again. Using an automated external defibrillator increases the patient’s chances of survival by seventy percent. More than 40,000 lives have been saved by using an AED.
According to reports if cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation are performed within the first one minute then there are 90% chances of the victim surviving and every minute after that, the chances of survival fall by ten percent. Even if treatment is given within the first five minutes, the chances of survival lie between 30 to 50%. These days, many patients undergo surgery to implant a device called as implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which seeks to correct an irregular heartbeat pattern. Thus, it is very important that immediate treatment should be given to patients of sudden cardiac arrest by means of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED’s to make sure that the person survives.