Patient Defibrillators and Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

What is an Defibrillator and what is it used for?

Defibrillation is a treatment for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias, specifically ventricular fibrillation (VF) and non-perfusing ventricular tachycardia (VT). A defibrillator delivers a dose of electric current  to the heart. Although not fully understood, this process depolarizes a large amount of the heart muscle, ending the dysrhythmia.

Defibrillation is often an important step in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


Types of defibrillator

  • Manual models: Manual external defibrillators require the expertise of a healthcare professional. They are used in conjunction with an electrocardiogram, which can be separate or built-in. A healthcare provider first diagnoses the cardiac rhythm and then manually determines the voltage and timing for the electrical shock. These units are primarily found in hospitals and on some ambulances.
  • Automated external defibrillators: Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are designed for use by untrained or briefly trained laypersons. AEDs contain technology for analysis of heart rhythms. As a result, it does not require a trained health provider to determine whether or not a rhythm is shockable
  • Cardioverter-defibrillator: defibrillators, also known as automatic internal cardiac defibrillator (AICD), are implants similar to pacemakers. They constantly monitor the patient’s heart rhythm, and automatically administer shocks for various life-threatening arrhythmias, according to the device’s programming


There are various such machines manufactured by different companies in India and the world.

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