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Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most common causes of death in the UK and Europe. The victim's best chance of survival is when they recieve basic life support within 3 minutes, to restore normal heart rhythm.
- Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
This treatment can produce survival rates up to 75%. Each minute of delay reduces the probability of survival by 7-10%.
The basic first aid should be followed by advanced life support from highly trained paramedics or at the nearest hospital, and then intensive care.
Heart attacks and other conditions can cause ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical signals in the lower part of the heart are uncoordinated and ineffective. Very little blood is pumped from the heart to the body or the lungs. If ventricular fibrillation is not treated, it will result in cardiac arrest.
Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are now available in many public places, and it's critical to know how to use them. Its not difficult or complicated - it's a fundamental life-saving skill.
The AED is a small, lightweight piece of equipment, designed to give a shock to someone in cardiac arrest caused by VF. The AED monitors the heart activity, and guides the user through the steps to deliver a shock to jump-start the heart. It wont allow a shock to be delivered to a person who doesnt need it.
Increasingly, AEDs are being made available in public places such as airports, workplaces, gyms, leisure centres, schools, cinemas, shopping malls, building sites and government buildings
The main purpose of this book is to give an understanding of what is happening when an AED is used and how to use it effectively and safely. You will also learn how any defibrillator works, and how a defibrillator recognises ventricular fibrillation.
Please note that defibrillation is only part of the skill and knowledge required for resuscitation and, depending on the qualifications of the operator of the defibrillator, the following skills are also needed:
- Basic life support
- Administration of oxygen
- Drug administration
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