View Full Version : If you didn't have a defibrillator...

07-01-2008, 05:16 AM
How about a shock

off of the spark plug wires
from a taser
or from a cell phone battery?

Would any of these be effective if you got the charge to go through the heart?

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-01-2008, 07:44 AM
Nope ...

Spark plug jolt is too hi voltage and not neough amps
Taser too short and intense.
Cell phone too weak.

You really need the pads in the right spot, with the right power (volts and amps) to get the charge to go through the heart, and the defibrillator delivers the right amount.

07-01-2008, 08:31 AM
back to cpr... compressions.

07-01-2008, 11:25 AM
Actually, the only substitution for a defibrillator is another defibrillator. CPR is good only to keep the person alive until the heart beats on its own, which requires a shock. Tasers and batteries only work in urban legends (although they can stop a heart with a pacemaker or severe heart damage, they can't start one back up).

For what's it worth...


07-01-2008, 03:29 PM
Actually the defibrillator STOPS the heart when it is beating erratically - when TV shows show the old FLAT line and then the patient gets defibrillated, that is usually FICTION; the only time flat line is appropriate for the shock of a defibrillator is immediately after cardiac arrest (the lines may be too fine to accurately show V-Tach).

Any shock MIGHT stop your heart but the placement of the pads and the measured joules are the most effective application. I would never tell my students (I teach CPR) to rely on some random shock. the cell phone shock is most proably too weak anyway.

While Normal Sinus Rythym MIGHT return after defibrillation, more often CPR compressions (ideally alternated with breaths at a ratio of 30:2) are needed to get the ol' ticker going again.

Kitty Pryde
07-01-2008, 11:05 PM
I agree that none of those are reliable substitutes. If you want a one in a billion success, there was a recent story...http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/28/taser_atrial_fibrillation/ there ya go. This guy was in atrial fibrillation and the taser shocked him back into normal rhythm (something a defibrillator would normally do).

Cardiac defibrillators for dummies: a healthy person has 'normal sinus rhythm.' A person whose heart has totally stopped (if you are going for a wacky sf/f heart stoppage) WON'T be helped by a defibrillator. A person who has had an injury or heart attack or heart problem that is causing their heart to beat incorrectly (arrhythmia, v-tach, or v-fib) may be helped by the defibrillator. Here's how it works: the heart muscle fibers all contract at the exact right time to cause blood to pump. They are signaled by electricity in the heart to do so. When things go wrong, the fibers keep contracting, but they are all doing it at a random time (metaphor! instead of a stadium crowd doing the wave, you have a bunch of people randomly jumping out of their seats whenever they please). The defibrillator gives one big shock to get all these fibers back in rhythm.

A doctor in a hospital uses a defibrillator by setting all the settings the way she wants them based on the patient's needs and various protocols. A regular Joe at the mall uses an AED (automated external defibrillator) which itself inspects the patient's heart rhythm and advises Joe whether he should shock or not. Joe then simply presses the button to give the shock that the AED thinks is best. that was probably more than you wanted to know. :Lecture:

07-01-2008, 11:44 PM
There is one reported incident of a tazer effecting the heart CLICK HERE, (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24845072/) but, it is not hard evidence. It also would not be a replacement for a AED. Electricity and the body can do interesting things together, so almost anything is possible, but how likely is the question.

07-02-2008, 05:17 PM
Incidentally a fellow first-aider has kept someone going for twenty minutes using CPR, who was then successfully revived by the paramedics when the ambulance arrived. It requires patience, stamina, and for the patient to be remarkably tolerant of hypoxia.

Studies are currently underway to try and determine what it is that allows some hypoxic patients to recover and others to die. The current theory is that some people's muscles are just better at adapting to severely-reduced oxygen levels than others, but nobody yet knows if that's due to genetics, exposure, or some other factor. Certainly age or fitness seems to have no bearing on whether an hypoxic patient survives the oxygen deprivation.

07-02-2008, 06:18 PM
Way it was described to me was that in such an instance, the heart is basically fluttering rather than the rhythmic pumping action it usually does.

In the old days, you'd see someone pounding on the chest of the victim, the theory being that the jolt of the thump would stop the hearts "wobble" and get it back into it's usual pace.

The CPR instructor who was talking about this, basically said calling for EMTs was ALWAYS the best option and that you were just as, if not more likely to just stop the heart dead (no pun intended) by the thump than you would be to settling it back, ticking over again.

In a moment of grim sharing, she did go on to say that if you were out in the middle of nowhere, no chance that any rescue teams would get to you in any kind of useful time-frame, you could try it - it would either have the person up on their feet again (other injuries not withstanding) or you could focus on just looking after yourself as the victim would no longer need your attention.

07-03-2008, 01:20 AM
Lawfire, There are more than one.

Tasers have been known to stop hearts and kill the person.