How Does a Defibrillator Work?

How does a defibrillator work and how would it help if my dad had a heart attack? The importance is critical and can mean life or death. The amount of time you start defibrillation can be crucial to full recovery.

The heart works by pumping blood throughout the body. It performs fluttering to do this. It is also known as fibrillation. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, his or her heart may be erratically beating and abnormal. A defibrillator, when used on someone in cardiac arrest, actually stops the heart for a moment. The pace making cells in the heart then have a chance to regain a normal heart rhythm. Some people say it jolts the heart back into a normal heartbeat. However, it sends an electrical shock, which must be delivered in order to restore a normal heartbeat.

A defibrillator doesn’t work if a person is in flat line. A flat line means the person’s heart has stopped altogether. Since a defibrillator stops the heart, it wouldn’t make sense to stop a heart that is already stopped. Some say that a flat line can be a very weak heartbeat or fibrillating so they like to try the defibrillators. Other doctors believe that CPR is most important to be used when a person is at a flat line. CPR is known to improve the oxygenation of the heart, which it needs to begin beating again.

Once a person goes into cardiac arrest, the sooner defibrillation begins the better chance they have of surviving. Defibrillation should occur immediately. The more time that passes, increases the chances of not being able to restore the heart to a normal heartbeat. If 10 minutes pass before defibrillation treatment can be done, the chances are slim of a full recovery of the patient. Time is critical.

Today there are many types of defibrillators. There are implantable devices that are defibrillators that can be surgically put inside the body. There are external and automated defibrillators also. The defibrillator work on a heart and the shock wave it sends through someone’s heart to restore a normal rhythm saves thousands of lives every year. These instruments are lifesavers.

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