Automated External Defibrillators (AED) (cont.)
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The Future of Defibrillation
When AEDs were first introduced, they were used predominantly by EMS agencies, and their use was regulated strictly. As more and more states came to realize that AEDs are simple to use, the restrictions became less stringent. Today, many states have true public access defibrillation programs.
With defibrillators becoming more prevalent in communities, and with the greater public awareness of their value, the number of deaths each year from sudden cardiac arrest can be dramatically reduced.
It is hoped that, eventually, AEDs will become as easily available as fire extinguishers: on display everywhere and able to be used by anyone in an emergency.
As it stands today, we are closer than ever to realizing that dream.
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Kouwenhouven showed that electrical shocks applied to dogs within 30 seconds of an induced ventricular fibrillation (VF) could produce a 98% rate of resuscitation; however, those shocked after 2 minutes of VF had only a 27% resuscitation rate.