What is a Defibrillator?FREE Case Review
A defibrillator is a device used to produce an electrical current that shocks the heart into a correct rhythm. It is a small computer attached to a battery which no larger than a pack of cigarettes implanted into the upper chest just under the collarbone. This computer monitors whether or not the heart is beating in a healthy, regular fashion, and if the rhythm is incorrect, the computer sends an electrical current down the wire into the lower chambers of the heart, where the shock hopefully corrects the arrhythmia and protects the heart from damage.
In a normal heart, circulation begins as blood fills the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, and ends when it is pumped out of the lower chambers, called the ventricles. Injury, disease or genetic predisposition sometimes results in the atria and ventricles to beat unsynchronized, which can result in a condition called ventricular fibrillation. Fibrillation is the random, spastic contraction of the heart muscle, which causes the ventricles to pump too slowly or too quickly without giving the atria enough time to fill with blood. As the heart continues to beat irregularly, blood pressure is disrupted which can eventually cause sudden cardiac death. ICDs hopefully catch the arrhythmia in time to prevent the heart from progressing too far towards permanent damage.