Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Defibrillation is a process in which an electrical device called a defibrillator sends an electric shock to the heart to stop an arrhythmia resulting in the return of a productive heart rhythm.
Defibrillation is the definitive treatment for the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected heart with a device called a defibrillator. This depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle, terminates the arrhythmia, and allows normal sinus rhythm to be reestablished by the body's natural pacemaker, in the sinoatrial node of the heart.
Defibrillators can be external, transvenous, or implanted, depending on the type of device used. Some external units, known as automated external defibrillators (AEDs), automate the diagnosis of treatable rhythms, meaning that lay responders or bystanders are able to use them successfully with little, or in some cases no, training.
How many open-heart surgeries are performed each year? In 2005 in the United States, these procedures were performed: Valve replacements 106,000 Bypass (cardiac revascularization) 469,000 Heart transplants (performed in 2006) 2,192 Total open-heart procedures 699,000.
From: American Heart Association
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