Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Well-Placed Defibrillators Could Save Many Lives

“Placing portable defibrillators in schools and other busy public spaces could get timely, possibly life-saving, treatment to many people whose hearts stop beating, according to two studies published Monday. Most cases of cardiac arrest occur when the heart goes into ventricular fibrillation, a heart-rhythm disturbance in which the heart begins to quiver chaotically and can no longer pump blood around the body. An electrical shock from a defibrillator can restore the heart's normal rhythm and reverse cardiac arrest. In recent years, portable, layperson-friendly versions of the devices, called automated external defibrillators (AEDs), have been placed in a growing number of public places.


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