Cardiac defibrillator: 4 minutes to save lives!

More than 40 000 people die each year in France of a cardiac arrest. Several thousand of them could be saved by a defibrillator. A campaign stresses the relevance of their generalization in public places.

Between 40 to 60 000 people die each year in France of a cardiac arrest. However, if the defibrillators were more widespread in public places, thousands of lives could be saved. But today a THS Healthcare survey, 9 out of 10 French know what a defibrillator but more than a third of them are not ready to use it. In order to educate the public and Government, several initiatives were initiated to facilitate access to such devices and better train the public.

Emergency cardiac defibrillation

Act quickly in the event of cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest occur in 70% of cases before one or more witnesses1. But the speed of the response is vital, each minute decreases by 10% the chances of survie1. The campaign of the RMC – BFM association therefore insists on the need to respond quickly through a film of awareness for the spread of defibrillators.

The opportunity to remember that cookies can improve the chances of survival by calling 112, massaging, in defibrillant (on the assumption that there is public defibrillators, which is not yet the case) and in the meantime the rescue.

When the heart is in fibrillation (anarchic contraction of the Atria and the ventricles) blood circulates poorly, or even completely stops. It is at this time that a fast electrical shock can allow it to restart with harmonious and nor anarchic contractions.

Unlike the United States, involving more than 2 million of defibrillators available to the public (in the same way as fire extinguishers…), France is in account yet only 10 0002 !

According to the spot of the association, the widespread use of defibrillators in public places would save 5 000 to 10 000 lives each year!

What is a cardiac defibrillator?
This is a case, long reserved for the emergency physicians, which consists of a source of electricity which can be transmitted to the human torso through 2 conductive pallets. Transmitted electricity will reach the heart, which will somehow reset it back to the power plan. When pallets are glued on the patient’s chest, the device first of all establishes a diagnosis, then it calculates and determines the parameters of the shock to issue based on the size of the thorax and the respiratory phase: a weak shock is not sufficient to defibrillate properly, while on the other hand too much shock can damage the coeur2. Finally, the case sends the current in order to boost the harmonious electrical contraction of the heart.

The procedure is simple: all of these steps are automated since 1994 (guided by a screen and a synthesized voice), which provides for a use by the general public.

Everyone can use a defibrillator!
Since the Decree of May 4, 2007, each person is allowed to use a defibrillator, and not just doctors3. The result: some companies, museums, stadiums, retirement homes, town halls or even departments are beginning to equip.
Thus, the Seine-Maritime is engaged in a wide programme of provision of defibrillators with nearly 700 aircraft free access “to increase the chances of survival of the Seinomarins in the event of cardiac arrest”.The report below also demonstrates the ease of use of this machine:

Soon the train stations and airports should also be equipped with these devices. The Red Cross has concluded on September 27, 2009 its action “3 weekends for the heart” which allowed to train for free many French first-aid actions and the use of defibrillators4 . At the same time, the RMC – BFM association including continues its awareness-raising action going again on the ground under the Bus of the heart operation planned in December5 . A further step towards a true generalization of defibrillators to improve cardiac accidents?

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