Heart Disease is the number 1 killer in the United States. Every day, more than 2600 Americans die from cardiovascular disease, which amounts to 1 death every 33 seconds. Most of these deaths occur with little or no warning, from sudden cardiac arrest. The most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest is a disturbance in the heart rhythm called Ventricular fibrillation, which is dangerous because it cuts off blood supply to the brain and other vital organs.
Ventricular fibrillation can often be treated successfully by applying an electric shock to the chest with a procedure called defibrillation. In coronary care units, most people who experience ventricular fibrillation survive, because defibrillation is performed almost immediately. The situation is just the opposite when cardiac arrest occurs outside a hospital setting. Unless defibrillation can be performed within the first few minutes after the onset of ventricular fibrillation, the chances for reviving the person are very poor.
For every minute that a person remains in ventricular fibrillation and defibrillation is not provided, the chances of resuscitation decreases by almost 10 percent. Which means that after 10 minutes, the chances of resuscitating a victim of cardiac arrest are near zero. CPR can deliver a limited amount of blood and oxygen to the brain until a defibrillator becomes available. However, defibrillation is the only effective way to resuscitate a victim of ventricular fibrillation.
Automated External Defibrillators, or AED's for short, are designed to deliver the necessary shock to a person suffering from cardiac arrest. The devices are designed for the lay rescuer, not just for EMS or Fire Departments. Their ease of use has resulted in AED's being implemented in governement buildings, airports, professional buildings, and private homes. We offer classes on the use of AED.