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  • Writer's pictureLisa Damron

CPR Luck. The Number One Thing You can Hope for During a Cardiac Arrest.

Today could be your unlucky day - it's the day you may suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

Or, today could be your lucky day - It's the day you suffer a sudden cardiac arrest and there is an AED nearby with someone that knows how to use it.

What is an AED? AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. It's a small portable "shocking" device that is often described as having the ability to "restart" the heart.

However, instead of "restarting" the heart, it is actually delivering an electrical shock to "stop" the chaotic electrical activity in the heart. This is typically a good thing and I'll explain why.

You see, the clever heart has automatic electro-excitable cells that normally produce a perfectly organized electrical current that begins at the top of the heart and travels towards the bottom . This causes the heart (cardiac) muscles to contract...thu-thunk. Voila! A heartbeat.

When there is stress to the heart, for example during a heart attack, this automatic and organized electrical current can become chaotic, causing the heart to quiver and to beat ineffectively (named Ventricular Fibrillation or V-Fib for the curious brainiacs). This usually results in sudden cardiac arrest.

Not every sudden cardiac arrest results in this chaotic rhythm, however many do. If you are fortunate enough to have an AED in your vicinity and someone nearby that knows how to use it - then you could get that electrical shock that may stop the chaotic activity so your heart can pick up its own organized, natural, and beautiful thu-thunk rhythm. Your chances of survival have now significantly increased.

AED's are easy to use and are taught now with almost all CPR courses - so learn how to use one and help turn someone's unlucky day into a lucky day.

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