One of the major causes of cardiac failure is ventricular arrhythmia, where the heart “shivers” without beating. Within 6-8 minutes, the heart will flatline, and brain death will occur. It is very important within this short time frame to administer an electric shock to reset the heart’s natural electrical rhythm. This is called defibrillation. You cannot defibrillate a person after he or she has flatlined.
Defibrillation is the third link of the AHA Chain of Survival (see the CPR section). You need an AED (automated external defibrillator) to perform rapid defibrillation. A semi-automatic AED will electronically detect the status of the patient and give you audio instructions on how to proceed.
Follow the PAAS protocol:
- Power on
- Attach pads
- Analyze rhythm