What Is The Defibrillator Survival Rate?

What Is The Defibrillator Survival Rate?

What is the defibrillator survival rate? It's a good question. This article outlines everything you need to know about defibrillators, and how they save lives. 

A defibrillator (also known as an AED, or automated external defibrillator) is a portable medical device that delivers an electric shock to the heart in order to treat cardiac arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). 

SCA occurs when there is a disturbance in the heart's electrical activity that causes it to stop beating properly (arrhythmia). The result is a loss of blood flow from the heart and throughout the body. This can happen at any time and without warning; however, SCA is most common in people with underlying heart conditions such as coronary artery disease or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Defibrillators are a life-saving device. They can have up to a 90% survival rate if used within the first minute of a sudden cardiac event. Their success rate drops around 10% for every minute that passes after so it is critical that these devices are used in a timely manner.

Does Having A Defibrillator Increase Your Chances Of Survival?

There is no doubt that defibrillation is critical in increasing survival rates of cardiac arrest victims. The outcome of every cardiac arrest event depends on the early initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), along with early AED use, which dramatically increases the likelihood of survival.

There is continued pressure to place AEDs in public places like malls, airports, schools, fitness centres and sporting venues where the public congregates. Educating the public on how to respond to cardiac arrest and CPR is an equally important issue that needs to be addressed since these devices are only useful if people know how to use them and are willing to do so.

Other Than A Defibrillator What Can Improve Survival Rates?

What about other treatments for sudden cardiac arrest?  Are there any other ways to help improve a victim's chances of surviving? There are five things you can do to increase survival rates for people who have had a cardiac arrest:

  1. Learn to recognize the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest;

  2. Call 911;

  3. Start CPR immediately if you're trained to do so, if not, begin chest compressions;

  4. Provide rescue breaths and/or chest compressions until an AED arrives and is ready for use;

  5. Continue CPR, as advised by the AED unit, until the person is breathing on their own or the ambulance arrives with a paramedic who takes over care of the person having cardiac arrest.

Until help arrives and proper treatment can be provided, bystander CPR is the best course of action because it provides oxygen to the brain and heart and keeps blood pressure up, which will optimize chances of survival.

The Takeaway

Defibrillators are an integral part of the emergency response system for cardiac events, but their effectiveness depends heavily on how long it takes to get them to a victim. With proper access provided to the public, this piece of equipment could be invaluable in saving lives, with up to 90% survival rates if used within 60 seconds of a cardiac incident.

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