Why do paramedics use defibrillators with a heart attack patient?

Fibrillation . Some patients who suffer a heart attack develop deadly heart rhythms called ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. The heart does not contract properly under these conditions and without external defibrillation to shock the heart back into normal the patient would die.
Restore heart rhythm. During a heart attack the heart tissues are starved for oxygen. When this happens the heart rhythm deteriorates and instead of beating the heart muscle fibrillates- sort of wiggles- instead of contracting as a unit. This is called ventricular fibrillation. Delivering a jolt of electricity to the heart interrupts the wiggles and allows the heart muscle to resume normal contractions.

Related Questions

What benefit does the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator give to patients who have had a cardiac arrest or heart attack?

Prevent recurrence. Depending on the reason for cardiac arrest, an automatic implantable defibrillator can be very effective in preventing a second cardiac arrest in the future. Read more...
It may prevent death. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (icds) are used to treat ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, which if untreated, may cause a fatal cardiac arrest. Icds can often quickly treat these conditions before permanent brain or heart damage can be done. Icds are not used to treat or prevent heart attacks, which are a "plumbing" issue. Read more...

What can paramedics inject into a heart attack patient to bust a clot?

Risky. If a heart attack is suspected, treatment today would be intervention (angioplasty, stent, etc). Thrombolytics can be given, but since other disease processes can mimic heart attacks, giving thrombolytics, or clot- busting drugs, in the field prior to physician evaluation, can lead to devastatingly bad results. Paramedics should stabilize and transport. Read more...

What to do if I had a major heart attack and I am 44 years old I have to have a pace maker and a defibrillator put in?

MI, ICD. With your combination of problems, you should have received instruction about your status and diet, exercise, not smoking, lots of medications and how to maximize your chances of length and quality of life. Look at this site and read as much as possible: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/coronaryarterydisease.html. Read more...

Had a heart attack in july. Had an echo after 3.5 months. EF was 35%. not improved.1 v-fib of 5 beats. Says I need defibrillator. Do I?

Yes! More than 3 months out from MI without improvement and V.Fib episodes are certainly indications for an AICD. Sounds like your Cardiologist knows what he/she is doing. I'd trust the Physicians judgement. If not then please get a Timely second opinion. Sudden Cardiac Death is no joke! Wish you well! Read more...

My gma (85yrs) was diagnosed with a-fib. Could she have a heart attack? Do we need to do cpr or use a defibrillator while waiting for an ambulance?

Abnormal heart beat. Your grandmother has an abnormal heart beat. It could increase her risk for stroke. She may be a candidate for blood thinner. You could learn CPR and signs for brain attack. Go to the american heart association website. AED may be beneficial but they are expensive. Read more...

Please tell me, could a person with a defribrillator die of a heart attack?

Possible. Defibrillator will shock you in situations of ventricular. Tachycardia or. Vent. Fibrillation. Someone can still get acute myocardial infarction. Defibrillator treats. Episodes of vent. Tachycardia and vent. Fibrillation .So it does prevent cardiac arrest . Sometimes if someone gets acute. Heart attack they can get refractory. Vent. Fibrillation and can die. Read more...
Yes indeed. The defibrillator will attempt life saving defibrillation when it detects it. The heart may not defibrillate therefore the person just passed. Ventricular fibrillation may occur from an old infarct scar, ischemic cardiomyopathy, idiopathic cardiomyopathy , acute coronary thrombosis to include some. If the cardiac muscle is dead, it is dead so electrical discharges will not make it alive. Read more...

What are some of the symptoms of a heart attack patient?

Variable. Symptoms: chest and neck and left arm pain can all occur elephant sitting on your chest shortness of breath fatigue anxiety fear some are asymptomatic signs: cold clammy low pulse rate, or fast irregular sudden death, . Read more...

What is a good way for a heart attack patient be transported?

Quickly// variable. Aspirin oxygen by ambulance depending on location of patient, ambulance and hospital with cardiac capabilities supine head up 20 degrees if pulse and BP ok ( to reduce aspiration ) monitor pulse and BP if possible check ekg and call er and send. If way away- car as quickly as possible or meet the ambulance part way. Read more...