Archive for the ‘AED Defibrillator’ Category

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, usually called CPR, is a technique the helps to take over the task of circulating oxygen and blood to the body when a cardiac or pulmonary arrest occurs. This life-saving technique has a long history, and refinements in CPR’s implementation have helped to save the lives of millions of people around the world and STS of Berkeley hopes to train many more people so millions of more lives can be saved.


Ancient Writings

Efforts to help victims of drowning and other means of sudden death began early in the history of mankind.  Writings that go back to the ancient Mayan civilization make reference to methods of resuscitation. The Incans also mention resuscitation of people who suffered sudden collapse. Other writings of the past mention the use of a metal cannula inserted into the throat to induce respiration.



Breathing into the mouth was an early development, mainly used to resuscitate babies and children in distress. Later, a type of bellows was development that pumped air into the patient. Warming the patient, bloodletting and fumigating with tobacco were also used.


Chest compressions

In the late 1800s, Dr. H.R. Silvester proposed a method of artificial respiration to help revive patients. This was an early form of CPR that was known as the “Silvester Method.” It was taught to medical personnel for many years. In this technique, the patient was laid on his back with arms extended above his head to help open airways.  In the 1900s, the patient’s position was changed to a face down pose with the head turned to the side and the palms downward. The back was then compressed and the patient’s elbows raised to force air into the lungs. This position was known as the “Holger Nielson Technique” and was used for many years. Old TV shows often show this older method of CPR.


CPR Advances

By the mid-20th century, medical researchers found that cardiac arrest patients were more likely to survive if both chest compressions and artificial respiration were used.  A formal method of teaching the technique was developed, and the effort to widely disperse this information began. This technique was taught extensively to the public for many years through the medical community, first aid courses and public health organizations.


Hands-Only CPR

As the decades passed, a body of data regarding outcomes of CPR use became available. Researchers noticed that in some circumstance, the use of the compressions alone provided sufficient blood flow to keep the person alive. Recently, the American Heart Association and STS of Berkeley began to advise students of CPR to use chest compressions alone, unless a specific breathing difficulty was a factor.  In cases of choking, drowning or other respiratory problems, mouth-to-mouth technique is still recommended.


The Future of CPR

Automatic devices that can do the compressions easily without manual assistance are already available. AEDs, automatic external defibrillators, which send an electrical charge to the heart to restart beating, can be found in airports, hotels and other establishments. These machines have been a great help in saving lives in everyday circumstances.  It is likely that new technologies will provide new developments to aid in rescuing people who are the victims of cardiac or pulmonary arrest. Safety Training Seminars also offers classes in AED training.

What is an AED Defibrillator: CPR AED Classes in Oakland

How to use an AED

Learn how to use an AED in the AHA BLS class.

Ventricular Fibrillation

The number one killer in the USA is heart disease. Every day, 600 Americans die after a sudden cardiac arrest, typically caused by a disturbance of the heart’s rhythms (arrhythmia) known as ventricular fibrillation. This dangerous condition can deprive the brain and other organs of blood, causing them to begin to shut down and fail. Unless the arrhythmia is corrected and blood flow is restored, brain damage and death will inevitably result. While standard CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can help to deliver a limited amount of oxygen and blood to the starved tissues, it cannot restore sufficient blood flow to prevent damage or bring a patient out of ventricular fibrillation.


Fibrillation can be corrected by the application of a carefully calibrated electrical shock to the chest. This process is called defibrillation. It can effectively re-start the heart, allowing it to establish a normal rhythm and restoring blood flow once again. The device used is called a defibrillator. The majority of people who are being cared for in a coronary unit when cardiac arrest occurs will survive because a defibrillator is nearly always available, as are trained personnel who can use it effectively. Without this kind of specialist care, the chances of survival drop steeply – 10 per cent for every minute that ventricular fibrillation continues. After 10 minutes, there is virtually no chance that the patient can be resuscitated. Having a defibrillator to hand can make the difference between life and death.

Manual Defibrillators

In manual defibrillation, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is used to monitor the patient’s heart rhythms. A doctor or other trained operator looks at the ECG to determine the exact moment to the defibrillator’s paddles against the chest of the person in cardiac arrest and administer a shock. Without training, it’s very difficult to use a manual defibrillator effectively; the user may actually do more harm than good.


An automated external defibrillator (AED) can read the heart rhythm of a patient in cardiac arrest via electrodes attached to the patient’s chest, allowing a shock to be delivered precisely when needed without the operator having to interpret an ECG. The device itself interprets the patient’s heart rhythm, prompting the operator to stand clear and press a button to administer a shock. This means that users with little or no medical knowledge can use the device, helping to keep the patient alive during the vital minutes after a cardiac arrest. An AED can usefully be installed in a public area such as a workplace, an airport or a train station, with designated first aiders given training in its use.

Using an AED

When confronted with a suspected cardiac arrest, the first step is to dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. This should be done straight away. Next, conventional CPR can be administered until the AED can be applied to the patient. Once the AED’s electrodes are attached to the patient’s chests, the operator can follow instructions from the device until the paramedics arrive to take over. The person using the AED must have proper training from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. The AHA provides CPR/AED Courses in Berkeley, CA.