If you're at risk of ventricular fibrillation, taking steps to improve your heart health will decrease the chances of your heart going into ventricular fibrillation. But, you should talk to your doctor about purchasing a home automated external defibrillator (AED) if you have serious concerns.
Home automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
If you're at risk of ventricular fibrillation and don't have an ICD, you may want to consider purchasing a home automated external defibrillator (AED) after talking to your doctor. If you're experiencing ventricular fibrillation and an AED is on hand, a bystander could grab it and easily connect it to your chest to check your heart rhythm. If your heart rhythm can be treated with an electric shock, the AED automatically sends an electrical current to your heart muscle. That jolt could reset your heart back into a normal rhythm, possibly saving your life.
If you plan to use an AED on someone, it's still critical that you call 911 or your local emergency services to get help on the way before you begin using the AED.
Nov. 01, 2011
- Ventricular fibrillation. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Ventricular-Fibrillation_UCM_324063_Article.jsp. Accessed Aug. 17, 2011.
- Olgin JE, et al. Specific arrhythmias: Diagnosis and treatment. In: Bonow RO, et al. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0398-6..C2009-0-59734-6--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0398-6&about=true&uniqId=236798031-10. Accessed Aug. 17, 2011.
- ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 guidelines for management of patients with ventricular arrhythmias: A prevention of sudden cardiac death — Executive summary. Circulation. 2006;117:e350.
- Srivathsan K, et al. Ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Expert Reviews in Cardiovascular Therapy. 2009;7:801.
- Automated external defibrillator. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/aed/aed_all.html. Accessed Aug. 18, 2011.
- Field JM, et al. Part 1: Executive summary - 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2010;122(suppl):S640.
- How the heart works. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hhw/hhw_all.html. Accessed Aug. 17, 2011.