Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - DockTalk Untitled Page

Welcome to the Forum


In order to post a comment in one of the forum topics, you must log in or sign up. Your display name will appear next to your posts unless you check the Post Anonymously box. When writing a post, please follow our forum guidelines. If you come across a post that you would like us to review, use the Report Post button. Please note the opinions shared in the forums do not necessarily reflect the views of Dockwalk.

RSS Feed Print
Automated Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs)
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:13 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

This was originally posted by Dinahicks in the forum Training For the “When” Not “If”

"Thanks for your post. It was really helpful. Saving life is not that easy but if you revive a" patient experiencing cardiac arrest I believe it is indeed very fulfilling. However, I have read recently that Automated Electronic Defibrillators do not improve survival rates in hospitals. In short, automated electronic defibrillators are useful and effective in saving lives, but they are not necessarily the best option in hospital cardiac wards, where staff and nurses are trained in emergency cardiac care. I've read it here: Automated defibrillators could be costing lives in hospitals. Well, does this mean manual chest compression is way better than AEDs?"

Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 12:07 AM
Joined: 19/10/2008
Posts: 38

Hello, Take this answer as you may...a rocking surface gives false readings to an AED and will not fire if needed. Any class you take will tell you that and do not move the body while the AED is checking the body. As for the other question the chest on an old person, or special person may have major problems or death with chest compressions. Now there are new ways of doing the chest so go back to school and get up dated by a licensed person...of course as we all know next year will be something different. Bottom line is "DO SOMETHING" help or call but "DO SOMETHING!!!" Please do not just watch!!! THINK - what can I do now!!! Then do it!!!
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:47 AM
Joined: 23/12/2009
Posts: 26

As an experienced EMT now working in yachting, I feel like I should chime in here...

AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) are designed to be used in conjunction with chest compressions, NOT as an alternative to them!  Chest compressions are primarily meant to "buy time" until the patient can be shocked with an AED or manual defibrillator.  By compressing the chest the rescuer is manually pumping the heart, circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body.  Without this, tissues and organs will die in a very short period of time.  Chest compressions alone are extremely unlikely to restart the heart - that's why you have an AED.

The linked article about AEDs in hospitals was comparing them to the alternative of traditional manual defibrillators.  Both serve the same purpose, but manual defibrillators are used by healthcare providers in hospitals because they can specify the number of joules, etc.  Defibrillation was proven long ago to be an essential tool in reviving patients in cardiac arrest. 

Captpage is right that a moving surface can potentially give false readings on the AED, but I have read that the movement of a large yacht is not "sharp" enough to create a problem.  Regarding the problems caused by chest compressions, which would you prefer... certain death or a few broken ribs? 

In any case, everybody should review their CPR/First Aid training so they can be ready when the inevitable occurs! 

Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:40 PM
Joined: 03/05/2010
Posts: 1

Many first aid organizations stress that CPR does not revive people, it just circulates oxygenated blood throughout the body until advanced care or defibrillation can be given. Unlike the inflated number on television, only about 5%-10% of people who undergo only CPR, without defibrillation, survive. (WebMD Medical News. "Real CPR isn't everything it seems to be". Retrieved 2007-06-13.). From what I understand, that is a skewed number as younger patients, such as children, have a better response to CPR. CPR is trained as one step in a chain focused on resuscitation; defibrillation is another important step. "Defibrillation is the treatment of irregular, sporadic or absent heart rhythms by an electrical current to the heart. It is the only definitive treatment for [Sudden Cardiac Arrest]. Defibrillation administered within four minutes after collapse is most successful. Every minute a victim is unconscious translates to approximately a ten percent decrease in the likelihood of resuscitation. After ten minutes, very few resuscitation attempts are successful. Thus, the most important element in the treatment of [Sudden Cardiac Arrest] is providing rapid defibrillation therapy. CPR may help prolong the window of survival, but it cannot reverse [Sudden Cardiac Arrest]" (American Red Cross. If you happen to be docked, you can still expect to wait for an emergency response team. Right now, the ambulance to response in the city of Ft. Lauderdale, FL is around 6 minutes, 90% of the time. ( In this example, that means the patient's chance of survival now down to 40% due to the length of time that the ambulance response time. Having personally administrated CPR, I cannot express how much you want all the tools possible... and how isolated from help you can feel especially on the water. As for the report regarding AEDs in the hospitals, I understand that to be a comparison between the results of using the former AEDs versus the results of using the newer AEDS (which trained and knowledgable medical personnel can not make adjustments based on the situation). That does not discredit that AEDs are better than CPR alone, especially in the field.
John Doe
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 4:02 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 78

In some instances CPR may save another persons life by keeping the original patients organs oxygenated and operational until they can be harvested for transplant to a new recipient.
 Average 0 out of 5