What role can a defibrillator play in treating cardiac arrest?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,012
    Dr. Robert O’Connor, professor & chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia Health System, discusses the role of defibrillators.

    Host: What role can a defibrillator play in the immediate treatment of cardiac arrest?

    Robert O'Connor: Defibrillators are often thought of as the main treatment, the main state of treatment for cardiac arrest. If someones in a rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, where the heart is basically beating ineffectively, the defibrillator can help reset the heart through deliver the electrical shock. Defibrillators, AEDs for example, Automated External Defibrillators are fairly widely available. We have a number on grounds here at UVA can be operated by lay persons or lay people. It's a very easy skill to learn how to operate these machines and their circuitry is sophisticated enough that they can recognize rhythm and they are very safe to use. In fact, one AED is can be sold over-the-counter without prescription, so that anyone could buy as long as they go through a training course. So I would recommend that as a bare minimum, people should learn CPR but then if there is some other way of learn how to operate an AED as well. To watch the other segments in this video series or for How-to videos on almost any other topic, visit monkeysee.