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device that delivers an electrical shock to the heart in order to stop certain forms of rapid heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmiasarrhythmia
, disturbance in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. Various arrhythmias can be symptoms of serious heart disorders; however, they are usually of no medical significance except in the presence of additional symptoms.
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). The shock changes a fibrillation to an organized rhythm or changes a very rapid and ineffective cardiac rhythm to a slower, more effective one. In a typical hospital defibrillator, voltage stored by the defibrillator pushes electrical current through the chest to deliver a muscle-contracting jolt to the heart; the current is transmitted by means of electrodes or paddles placed on the chest. Automated external defibrillators are now available for use by persons with minimal medical training in emergencies when medical professionals are unavailable, and miniaturization has led to the development of the implanted internal defibrillator (also called an internal cardioverter). In the latter a microcomputer uses an electrode to monitor the heartbeat. Upon detecting a minor arrhythmia, it activates a built-in conventional pacemakerpacemaker, artificial,
device used to stimulate a rhythmic heartbeat by means of electrical impulses. Implanted in the body when the heart's own electrical conduction system (natural pacemaker) does not function normally, the battery-powered device emits impulses that trigger
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 to restabilize the heart's rhythm. If that fails, it delivers a small defibrillating electrical shock to the heart. In an extreme case, it resorts to a far stronger shock to reset the heart rate.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an apparatus designed to eliminate the major impairment of cardiac activity manifested in separate contractions at different times of individual muscle fibers of the cardiac muscle (fibrillation).

In this condition the heart cannot work efficiently. Cardiac activity is not restored spontaneously during fibrillation. The most effective means to stop fibrillation is to feed a single shortterm (0.01 second) electrical impulse created by discharge of the condenser in the defibrillator to the heart muscle (open or through the thorax). Various models of defibrillators (the ID-VEI-1 and ID-66T) have been built in the USSR. The impulses generated by these defibrillators have a less damaging effect on the heart than the apparatus of other systems. A voltage of 1.5-2.5 kilowatts is used for defibrillation on an open heart (during operations), and a voltage of 4-7 kilowatts is used with an unopened thorax.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An electronic instrument used for stopping fibrillation during a heart attack by applying controlled electric pulses to the heart muscles.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Automatic external defibrillators are now commonly available in community and medical-surgical settings.
Ornato presented the principal outcomes of the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) trial, a massive prospective study which randomized roughly 20,000 lay volunteer rescuers to training in CPR or to CPR plus the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest in public sites.
"An automatic external defibrillator delivers a precise level of energy to the heart which can get it beating normally again, gaining the patient valuable time to get to an accident and emergency department.
He has a master's degree in business administration from Benedictine University, and he won the department's Lifesaving Award for the first successful use of an automatic external defibrillator to revive someone suffering from cardiac arrest.
One choice is to have an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, on hand.
CRCs could open airways, control bleeding or treat patients with automatic external defibrillator before the ambulance crew arrived.
"This clearly surpasses the efficacy of resuscitation by an automatic external defibrillator," Dr.
They are trained in first aid and lifesaving techniques, such as using an automatic external defibrillators and administering Narcan to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, he added.
Since its establishment, ARASCA initiated and advocated the PAD (Public Access Defibrillator) programme, which is to place automatic external defibrillators throughout the communities in the UAE to help and save lives in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

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