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Medical Education: Treatment of Cardiac Arrythmias

Author C. Sanders. Published on May 21, 2011 - 3:27 am (2601 views — 207 words)

Defibrillation (dee-fih-brih-LAY-shun), also known as cardioversion, is the use of electrical shock to restore the heart's normal rhythm. This shock is provided by a device known as a defibrillator.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is designed for use by nonprofessionals in emergency situations when defibrillation is required. This piece of equipment automatically samples the electrical rhythms of the heart and, if necessary, externally shocks the heart to restore a normal cardiac rhythm.

An artificial pacemaker is used primarily as treatment for bradycardia or atrial fibrillation. This electronic device can be attached externally or implanted under the skin with connections leading into the heart to regulate the heartbeat.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (KAR-dee-oh-ver-ter dee-fib-rih-LAY-ter) is a double-action pacemaker. (1) It constantly regulates the heartbeat to ensure that the heart does not beat too slowly. (2) If a dangerous disruption of the heart's rhythm occurs, it acts as an automatic defibrillator.

Valvoplasty (VAL-voh-plas-tee), also known as valvuloplasty, is the surgical repair or replacement of a heart valve. (valv/o means valce, and -plasty means surgical repair).

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is an emergency procedure for life support consisting of artificial respiration and manual external cardiac compression. Cardiopulmonary meeans pertaining to the heart and lungs.