living your best to the end

The ABC’s of AED (Automated External Defibrillator)

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is not an Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD) You may have seen them in sports clubs, bars and public transit locations. Unlike an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), which have been known to keep a person alive even as the body is dying. AEDs Automated External Defibrillator) are external devices that are applied at the discretion of the first responder. If an individual during end of life, who does not want to be resuscitated, dies, those around him or her should respect their wishes and not administer an AED shock. That being said, if the individual isn’t ready to kick the bucket, then an AED is their best chance of survival. Sudden Cardiac Arrest – a heart attack – is a silent killer in an othewise healthy body An AED administers shock to a person experiencing cardiac arrest. The process of applying electric shock to a person suffering cardiac arrest is known as defibrillation. The shock may help the person re-establish his normal heartbeat and can increase the chances of survival. An AED unit is housed in a portable case that contains electrode pads and other equipment. It also contains illustrations of where to place the pads and guides the rescuer with concise and easy-to-understand voice prompts. How It Works Once you turn on the machine, voice prompts will guide you through the defibrillation process. After wiping dry the whole chest area of the victim, apply the two electrode pads to the specific sections of the victim’s chest as indicated in the diagrams. Depending on the model of AED, you may need to plug the connector...

Dr Paul Dorian: CPR insights from a man dedicated to our hearts

3 questions about Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Dr Paul Dorian As always, before launching into questions, I  explain my sense about the topic, CPR, to. Dr Paul Dorian  “I think we ‘real people’ have neither the information nor the context to make informed decisions about CPR.” His answer: comprehensive, concise, hugely helpful. The CPR decision is complex, fraught and depends on the individual, their underlying diseases, and the situation. As a decision-maker here are the questions to ask: How likely is going to be that CPR is going to be life-saving in the short term – whether it’s 30 minutes or a day.  How likely is this person going to return to meaningful Quality of Life – with the definition of ‘meaningful’ is different for each of us What’s the intermediate or long-term outlook for this person’s overall health – say 6 months to 2 years. For example if this person has late stage kidney disease, their life expectancy may not be that long. Another factor to consider when undertaking CPR is timing: For instance, if a heart attack happens outside the hospital, the success rate for ‘Basic CPR’  – mouth to mouth or auto defibrillators (AED)– is 4-6%.  The reason for that low ‘success rate’ is because of the timeliness of the intervention. It often takes too long to do that CPR. In the hospital, the success rate goes up to 20-25% but that’s still pretty low. When decisions of life and death have to be made, if you haven’t thought about and talked about your preferences and values there’s no time for philosophizing when there’s a health...