Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – Your Own Defibrillator

You’re at your retreat. The world has not crashed, and you don’t think it will. Still you keep the place up to snuff because it also doubles as a great place to vacation, and triples as a second home if you lose your income and primary residence (the Three-fer rule….) While there on a vacation /maintenance trip, you experience a great pain in your chest and jaw, lose your balance and fall to the floor as your vision squeezes right along with your heart. The impact wasn’t felt. Later you come to, as paramedics are checking you out. They tell you that your wife saved your overweight tail by using the AED you keep at home, and which came with you in the vehicle bag, as it always does on extended trips. She followed the directions, which mirrored the training video that came with the device. The AED decided you were worth saving (no, actually, it decided that it could save you…. more later….) and gave you what you needed – a double pulse of cardiac rythym-restoring electricity.

Preparation paid off, but BIG.

Hopefully, you’ll never need to have such assistance in order to live. Hopefully, you’ll always be fit, and go to your reward quickly, easily, and from a good healthy body late in a full and prosperous life. But that can’t be guaranteed. You and I can prepare for some things – things that are possible and life changing or ending. Cardiac issues are some of those things.

While searching for a quality Home Defibrillator, or AED, I ran across a Mayo Clinic paper on them. It’s written by the Mayo Clinic staff (under doctor’s supervision?). The article covers more than I thought it would in a short two page publication. The first thing that caught my attention was the non-prescription availability of these for home use.

From the Mayo Clinic website.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an over-the-counter AED for home use. Because it’s over-the-counter, you don’t need a prescription to buy it. The only automated external defibrillator approved for home use without a prescription is the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator. The HeartStart AED can be used on children as young as 8 who weigh at least 55 pounds.

The Phillips units can walk a user through the whole process.
In an emergency, the automated external defibrillator essentially makes the decisions. It offers step-by-step voice instructions to guide a user through the defibrillation process. It explains how to check for breathing and a pulse and how to position electrode pads on the person’s chest.

We are also given a warning that these are not for everyone, or perhaps for to the point, not for every cardiac situation. “Having a home AED isn’t right for everyone. A home AED will deliver a shock only if a person’s heart has stopped due to a specific heart rhythm problem. It’s also possible a person using an AED may not use the device correctly under the stressful circumstances of providing care to a person who’s in cardiac arrest.

I advise you to get a good read at the Mayo site and come to a decision. As for me and my house, we’re getting one. I haven’t decided where it is on the list yet, because the things are not all that cheap, and the likelihood of this particular family having issues is less than most. Still, where and when there is no doctor, such as when camping in the sticks, a tool like this is very comforting to have. It’s portable, and can travel with you. Besides, when on the road or trail, it might not be your group that has the problem, but the one that does may need the help just the same.

Some notes on the article. I could not determine when it was written. Since it was written, though, there must have been other units allowed for sale without prescription, since Amazon lists them. Still, the Phillips HeartStart is the first and oldest, and still for sale. It gets good reviews, and is on our list.

 

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