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You may be asking yourself what is a defibrilator. A defibrillator is designed to restore the heart’s natural rhythm when someone has life-threatening arrhythmias. Besides, the device emits electrical impulses through electrodes on the person’s chest. So-called automated external defibrillators (AED) are used in first aid. They are designed in such a way that even a layperson can use them. Find out when and how a defibrillator should be used and what to watch out for during defibrillation.


How does a defibrillator work?

You can see them in companies, public buildings, and subway stations: small defibrillator cases on the wall. A green shield identifies them with a heart on which a green lightning flashes. These automated external defibrillators (AED) for sale are somewhat reminiscent of a first-aid kit with two cables with an electrode pad the size of a postcard at each end. These electrodes are affixed to the chest when the heart is threateningly out of step. The device then uses the electrodes to deliver small electrical surges to bring the heart back into its natural rhythm.


Fully and semi-automatic defibrillators.

There are fully and semi-automatic defibrillators. The former emits the power surge automatically. On the other hand, the semi-automatic devices ask the first aider to trigger the pulse at the push of a button manually.


Using a defibrillator: this is how it works!

An AED (“layman defibrillator”) is also designed to be used safely and purposefully by laypeople: images on the electrode pads show how and where the places are attached. The device announces the next steps and their sequence via voice function.


Specifically, you proceed as follows with defibrillation:

Free the patient’s upper body: A defibrillator can only be used on bare skin. The skin should be dry and hair-free. Such is necessary so that the defibrillator can work efficiently, and the patient does not get burned by possible sparks. Therefore, if necessary, dry the skin on the upper body and shave if there is a lot of chest hair. A razor is usually included in the emergency kit for this purpose. But hurry to shave!


Attach the electrode pads: Follow the instructions – one electrode is placed on the left below the armpit, the other on the right below the collarbone.


Do not touch the patient during the analysis: the defibrillator analyzes the patient’s heart rhythm and detects whether it can be shock-shocked or not (see below). Nobody should touch the patient during the analysis.


Then follow the instructions given to you by the device: If it is a semi-automatic AED, it will ask you to press the shock button in the event of ventricular fibrillation / ventricular flutter. That triggers an electric surge. You can recognize the switch by the lightning bolt symbol. Caution: Neither you nor anyone else may touch the patient during the power surge!

Continue to follow the defibrillator’s instructions: For example, it can now ask you to resume the cardiac pressure massage that was carried out before the defibrillation.