CPR and AED Basics: The Different Types of Defibrillators

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An essential part of CPR and AED basics is knowing the types of defibrillators and how they are different from each other. This ensures that first aid rescuers are well-aware of the differences among the type of defibrillator that they are allowed to use and the ones that should only be manipulated or adjusted by a healthcare professional. Here are the different types of defibrillators that exist on the market today.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators are equipments that monitor a person’s heart rate 24 hours a day. It is implanted inside the patient’s chest through an open surgery where it shall remain inactive until it detects a heart rate pattern that is indicative of a heart attack. Once it detects the presence of a heart attack, these defibrillators automatically administers a jolt of electricity. These defibrillators are designed for individuals who are suffering from arrhythmias and are only prescribed for those who have life-threatening diseases or conditions since by principle, inserting a foreign material inside the human body has a lot of risks and limitations.

AED Trainer placed on CPR training mannequin
AED Trainer placed on CPR training mannequin


During emergency situations in which the patient is still suffering from a cardiac arrest despite the presence of this implant, it is still the rescuer’s duty to perform chest compressions alone. However, determining the reason why the implant has failed to prevent the cardiac arrest or attack or assessing the implant is not a part of the rescuer’s duties.

Wearable Defibrillator

Designed to be a more affordable version of an ICD, a wearable defibrillator is a fairly new technology which allows patients who are not suitable candidates for an ICD implant because of certain blood-related medical conditions or the presence of an impending heart operation. Several studies are still being conducted to test its efficiency and so far, the results are promising. According to a study that was conducted by the professionals at the American College of Cardiology Foundation, this type of defibrillator is an excellent tool for patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED)

AED’s are designed for rescuers and other individuals who have little to no medical background since it is the easiest to use among the three and is more affordable. In most offices and workplace environment, having a working AED is a requirement especially those that are in high-risk industries. This is why taking CPR AED classes is important for rescuers aside from knowing how to administer proper chest compressions.

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