ZOLL® offers many clinically advanced manual monitor/defibrillators and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to help you improve survival outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and other heart arrhythmias.

What Is the Purpose of Defibrillation?

Defibrillation uses electric shock (often called counter-shocks) to start a stopped heart — or momentarily stop a chaotic rhythm — and get the heart beating normally again.

While CPR keeps oxygenated blood flowing to vital organs, only defibrillation can correct certain types of cardiac rhythms. Common signs of heart rhythm problems include the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness

Why Early Defibrillation Matters

Since SCA can happen to anyone anywhere — in or out of the hospital or even at home — it is vital that defibrillation devices are widely available. Speed to therapy as well as high-quality CPR are essential to improving outcomes. 

Research indicates that survival rates increase when victims receive high-quality CPR and a shock with an AED before emergency service personnel arrive.1 It's equally important that defibrillators are easy to use and provide rescuers with CPR feedback, helping them deliver high-quality CPR that meets the ERC's Guidelines and improves the chances of a victim’s survival.

To address this, all ZOLL manual defibrillators and AEDs feature CPR feedback that uses text, audio, or graphics to let rescuers know their CPR is meeting the high-quality metrics. Some ZOLL defibrillators feature Real CPR Help® and others feature Intellisense CPR™. All provide real-time coaching and CPR feedback on rate and depth of chest compressions. 

The AED mode on the R Series® Plus monitor/defibrillator also encourages BLS responders to apply electrodes and deliver therapy if needed while waiting for the ALS team to arrive.

How to Use a Defibrillator

Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are designed for bystanders without emergency medical training. If you see someone displaying signs of cardiac arrest, immediately call local emergency services and have another bystander locate the nearest AED. Perform CPR until the bystander returns with the AED. 

Follow the device’s guidance to attach the electrodes to the victim. The AED will advise you whether to continue CPR or stop so that it can analyse the victim’s heart and deliver a shock. Continue to follow the audio or on-screen text instructions provided by the device until emergency services arrive or until the victim displays obvious signs of life. For more in-depth instructions, read our guide on how to use an AED.

While AEDs are designed for rescuers without emergency medical training, manual defibrillators are designed to be operated by formally trained medical staff. Professionals can supplement their formal training using device-specific videos, like this one that illustrates how to set up and use a ZOLL X Series® Advanced monitor/defibrillator.

How ZOLL AEDs Work

ZOLL AEDs assess a victim's heart rhythm during an SCA event to determine when it's appropriate to deliver a shock. Once a shockable rhythm is detected, the AED will either deliver a shock automatically or instruct the rescuer to do so by pushing a button. The AED will then advise a rescuer on next steps.

The ZOLL AED Plus® and AED Pro® defibrillators feature a proprietary Rectilinear Biphasic™ waveform (RBW) technology, which delivers shocks that are both low-energy and high-current. RBW is the only biphasic waveform that has demonstrated clinically superior results as compared to monophasic waveforms for: 

  • Cardioversion of atrial fibrillation
  • Defibrillation of ventricular fibrillation (VF) in high-impedance patients
  • Defibrillation of VF in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in an advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) environment*

At 200 joules, the ZOLL RBW delivers more average current to high-impedance patients than any other biphasic waveform — even defibrillators with higher energy settings.

*The data demonstrate the equivalent efficacy of low-energy rectilinear biphasic shocks compared to standard high-energy monophasic shocks for transthoracic defibrillation for all patients in VT/VF at the 95% confidence level. The data also demonstrate the superior efficacy of low-energy rectilinear biphasic shocks compared to standard high-energy monophasic shocks in patients in VT/VF with high transthoracic impedance at the 90% confidence level.

1Weisfeldt ML, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010;55(16):1713–20.

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