[de- + fibrillat(ion)]
A device that delivers an electrical shock that completely depolarizes the myocardium, producing a brief period of asystole. The goal of defibrillation is to let the sinoatrial node recover control of the heart's electrical activity and terminate potentially fatal heart rhythms, such as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.
A defibrillator may be used with conductive pads applied to the chest wall or may be surgically implanted in the chest, e.g., in patients who have previously been resuscitated from sudden death.
DEFIBRILLATOR Equipment typically used in cardioversion, both unsynchronized (defibrillation) and synchronized.
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