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AED.com Glossary

Lear the most common terms associated with AEDs ( automated external
defibrillators) and Sudden Cardiac Arrest here. We want you to be
informed and prepared in the case of a cardiac arrest emergency.

If you want specific terms added to the list please send us a request and
we will add them for you. Our job isn't finished until you are fully prepared.

 

Automated External Defibrillator (AED):
a medical device that measures the electrical activity of an individual’s heart, analyzes the heart rhythm, and if necessary shocks the patient’s heart back to a normal rhythm.

Arrhythmia:
a change in the rhythm of the heartbeat, often called an irregular heartbeat. The heart can beat too fast, too slow, too irregularly, or contract prematurely.

Asystole:
This is the absence of a heartbeat, also known as a flatline.

Biphasic Energy:  a waveform of energy where the electrical current (shock) flows from one electrode to the other electrode and back again.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR):
a procedure performed following cardiac arrest that is designed to restore normal heart and breathing functions. This includes clearing the victim’s airway, mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration and external heart massage through pressure exerted on the chest.

Defibrillation:
a treatment for irregular heart activity that uses an electronic device to administer a shock and restore the heart’s natural rhythm.

Electrode:
also known as a “pad”, is an electrical conductor placed on the bare chest through which electricity flows to the heart.

EKG/ECG (Electrocardiogram):
a test that measures and records a patient’s heart rhythm, the electrical activity of their heart, through the use of electrodes placed on the upper body.

Joules:
energy in a defibrillator is expressed in joules. A joule is the unit of work associated with one amp of current passed through one ohm of resistance for one second.

Impedance:
is resistance to the flow of energy. The amount of impedance in a victim correlates with their body mass, body temperature and the quality of contact of the pads or paddles.

Lead:
a wire that connects the defibrillator to the electrodes and is used for EKG/ECG readings.

Monophasic energy:
a waveform energy where the electrical current is deliveredthrough a single path, from one electrode to the other electrode.

Myocardial infarction (MI):
also known as a heart attack. This occurs when blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked and muscle affected is either damaged or dies. A heart attack cannot be treated with the use of an AED.

Sinus rhythm:
the normal beating of a heart.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA):
this occurs when the heart immediately and unexpectedly stops beating. The only way to treat SCA is use of an AED.

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