Fibrillation is what happens in 80% of the cases when someone is unconscious from a heart attack. This is a condition where there is still electrical activity in the heart, but it is very irregular and erratic. As a result, the heart is not working properly to create circulation.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a machine that is designed to administer an electric shock. The concept behind this is that the shock will momentarily cause the heartís electrical system to stop, then it will begin to work again with a regular rhythm. The main reason this works is because the heart has its own, self-sustaining, electrical system.

A defibrillator can detect electrical signals from the heart and determine if a shock would benefit the person. The main factor is whether or not the heart is fibrillating. If the electrical rhythm is normal, or there is no electrical activity at all, then the machine will not shock.

AEDs are now becoming more common in our society, as they have been shown to save many lives if they are used on the spot by trained bystanders, before the paramedics arrive. The key to this lifesaving machine is that it must be administered as soon as possible, because the casualtyís chance of being saved decreases by about 10% with every minute of delay. CPR is still an important component in helping someone with no signs of circulation.

How to use a defibrillator:

Demo video