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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The North American defibrillators market is expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2023, surging geriatric population, rising incidence of cardiac diseases, and growing demand for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are some of the key factors driving the market growth.
The defibrillators can be found at Barrhead Community Museum; St Andrew's House, Barrhead; Johnny Kelly Pavilion, Cowan Park, Barrhead; Carlibar Primary School, Barrhead; Cross Arthurlie Primary School, Barrhead; and Glen Halls, Neilston, as well as the council offices in Barrhead.
Residents have reacted with shock and anger after a defibrillator in a borough community vanished.
"The call operator will be able to tell you where your nearest defibrillator is, but if you know this already, you may be able to gain the vital seconds that could save someone's life." Public access defibrillators, or PADS, can be accessed 24-7 and are located in all sorts of places - from railway stations to sports centres, supermarkets to pubs.
Mr King, now 57, said: "The law states that all public buildings have to have a fire extinguisher, let's do the same with defibrillators, it will save lives."
Jayne has opened a charity shop to help to pay for more defibrillators.
"We want to play our part by rolling out public access defibrillators across our estate, making sure that anyone using our buildings, or the local community, are closer to this life-saving equipment should they suffer a cardiac arrest."
Jo Sheridan offered to buy the defibrillator at the Gwynedd Holiday Park in Tywyn in memory of her partner Sir Bryan Baker, who passed away in November 2017.
Jo Sheridan offered to buy the defibrillator at the Gwynedd Holiday Park in Tywyn, Mid Wales, in memory of her partner Sir Bryan Baker, who passed away in November 2017.
"Cases like this are the best example of why we need to increase the number of defibrillators in the community."
North East Hearts with Goals, run by sisters-in-law Christine Stephenson and Kelly Best, has placed 400 defibrillators in the region over the last five years.
Abigail Stahelin, Stafflex Compliance and Operations Director said: "Public access defibrillators save lives and with our office in such a prime location near town on Chapel Hill, we felt a responsibility to care about the safety of the residents and visitors in Huddersfield.