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A vital part of the emergency medicine landscape, defibrillators are often thought of as intricate, modern pieces of medical equipment. While user interfaces have come a long way with the advent of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), the origins of defibrillation date back to the early 20th century. In fact, the earliest research into the effects of electric shock on the heart began in 1899 when two physiologists discovered that small electric shocks could send dogs into ventricular fibrillation and larger electric shocks could reverse the condition. Today, industry leaders such as Philips, Physio-Control, and Zoll manufacture manual and semi-automated defibrillators that are vital pieces of equipment in hospitals and clinics around the world.

Defibrillator vs. AED 

This point of confusion is understandable for many people who have heard of an AED but fail to understand what the difference is between it and another type of defibrillator. The AED was originally invented because of its ease of usage. Using an AED, there is no training required to diagnose and treat a potentially fatal arrhythmia in the absence of emergency personnel thus saving lives of those who experience ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest. While the AED is a useful piece of equipment, manual and semi-automated defibrillators remain the standard equipment in ambulances and hospital and clinical settings where medical personnel are available to use these devices appropriately.

Not only are semi-automated and manual defibrillators available in portable sizes, but they are also capable of a fine tuning electrical shock to the appropriate person and situation. Whether a doctor requires defibrillation for a small child or large adult, the amount of shock can be adjusted accordingly. A variety of stands, mounts, battery chargers, paddles, packs, and other accessories are also available to round out your equipment needs.


Defibrillator FAQs: A Comprehensive Guide

Can an AED be Used on an Infant?

What is the Difference Between an AED and a Defibrillator?

When Should an AED be Used & When Not to Use an AED?