Category Archives: Zoll Medical

The History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators and Portable AEDs

From dogs to tablespoons to Zolls, AEDs have come a long way

As you can tell, we’re on a bit of a history kick here at Cardio Partners and AED.com! This week we’re dialing the way-back machine to 1899 to learn more about the origins of defibrillation and the birth of AEDs. To learn more about the History of CPR, check out last week’s post!

1899: The Dog Days of Defibrillation

Defibrillation was discovered at the University of Geneva in 1899 by physiologists Jean-Louis Prevost and Frédéric Batelli. In the course of their research on ventricular fibrillation — a condition that occurs when the heart beats with rapid and erratic electrical impulses and causes the chambers in the heart to quiver ineffectively — they discovered that they could induce fibrillation in dogs and then, with an even higher jolt, defibrillate by applying high-current shocks directly to the surface of the heart.

Admittedly, this was a pretty significant discovery, but because they used a very high voltage, the poor pup’s heart was ultimately incapacitated and subsequent defibrillation theories focused more on the harmful effects of the procedure rather than the potential positive, life-saving effects we’re all familiar with today (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

1933: Self-Starter for Dead Man’s Heart

A generation later, in October of 1933, Popular Mechanics ran an article about Dr. Albert S. Hyman’s promising new invention, Hyman’s Otor.

The device was essentially a “hollow steel needle, through which a carefully insulated wire runs to the open point. Both the needle itself and its central wire are connected to the terminals of a light, spring-driven generator, provided with a current-interrupting device. This mechanism can be adjusted to give electrical impulses with the frequency of the heart-beat from infancy to old age. When the physician faces a case of heart stoppage, he inserts the needle between the first and second ribs into the right auricle of the heart, and starts the generator at the required frequency” (Source: Modern Mechanix).

The device was tested on animals and revived 14 out of 43 victims of cardiac arrest (Science Museum, London). Even though the device received positive press coverage, it was perceived as interfering with natural events and was not accepted by the medical community.

1947: What a Difference a Decade Makes…and Spoons

If you’ve been wondering where the tablespoons come in, you’re about to find out! The first successful defibrillation was reported by an American surgeon, Dr. Claude S. Beck, in 1947.

His patient, a 14-year-old boy, “tolerated the surgery well but went into cardiac arrest during closure” (Resuscitation Journal). Using a combination of direct cardiac massage, drugs, and a shock delivered by what appears to be gauze-covered spoons, the boy was successfully resuscitated (Case Western Reserve University).

1950: Zoll Begins Working on an External Pacemaker

Yes, the Zoll that we all know and love was founded by a Harvard cardiologist and an AED pioneer. “In 1952, Dr. Zoll and a team of other doctors in Boston applied electric charges externally to the chest to resuscitate two patients whose hearts had stopped. The first patient lived only 20 minutes. The second patient survived for 11 months, after 52 hours of electrical stimulation” (New York Times).

1965: Defibrillators Go Mobile

In 1965, a professor from Northern Ireland, Frank Pantridge, invented the world’s first portable defibrillator. Known as  “the father of emergency medicine,” Pantridge’s device relied on a car battery for current. The 150 pound device was installed in an ambulance and was first used in 1966 (BBC News).

1972: LBJ is Saved Today

In 1972, when President Lyndon B. Johnson suffered a massive heart attack at his daughter’s Virginia home, he was revived by a portable defibrillator.

“Dr. Richard S. Crampton of the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville, who rushed a mobile coronary care unit to former President Lyndon B. Johnson…said in an interview: ‘It has tremendous potential application. Conceptually, this ought to be on every plane, train, bus, at stations and at airports, in case someone suddenly collapses. It’s like a fire extinguisher; you just hang it on the wall and you go put out the fire, which happens to be ventricular fibrillation’” (New York Times).

2018: Where We Are With AEDs Now

Today, portable AEDs are so easy to use that many states require their placement in schools, sports arenas, airports, health clubs, casinos, and other public places. Portable AEDs are also available for home use.

Unlike professor Pantridge’s “portable” defibrillator, modern AEDs typically weigh approximately 3 pounds and are fully automated.

For the full scoop on CPR or AEDs, CPR and AED Training, or to purchase an AED, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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Texas Girl Scout Earns Prestigious Gold Award and Donates ZOLL AED Plus to City Park

Jillian Rash Donates AED to Twin Coves Park and Raises Heart Health Awareness in Flower Mound, Texas

 

Flower Mound, a close-knit community located just 20 miles northwest of Dallas, is known for its proximity to Grapevine Lake and the eponymous 12-acre hill covered in native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Now, the city has one more claim to fame: the home of newly-minted Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Jillian Rash.

For more than a year, Jillian, a junior at Flower Mound High School, worked tirelessly to increase awareness about heart disease in women and to raise enough money to donate an AED to the city’s popular Twin Coves Park.

After watching town hall meetings and discovering that there was a need for an AED at the park, Jillian set her goals and got to work.

Her incredible Girl Scout Gold Award journey concluded on March 5, 2018, when Jillian made her final heart health awareness presentation to members of City Council. Community attendees were visibly and vocally impressed by the young advocate’s hard work and by her varied efforts to raise awareness around this incredibly important issue.

Of the presentation earlier this month, Jillian says “It was really exciting. It was everything that I had worked on for the past year and a half had come to a peak. I was really proud of all that I had done. I also really enjoyed talking to all the people in the community. I had people coming up to me telling me how AEDs saved their lives. It’s just really exciting to see that my project had an impact on people and that they benefited from it. That was my goal.”

Frank Mannino, a strategic account manager for Cardio Partners, had the privilege of handing over the ZOLL AED Plus to Jillian, who then presented it to park manager Mark Long. She also was able to donate a recessed wall cabinet to help ensure visibility and public access to the life-saving device.

“Cardio Partners was really excited to help and to offer our support for such a dedicated young woman who wants to help her community,” says Mannino. “I know hundreds of people who do this for a living and I was so impressed that she volunteered to do this! Education is key, really. And she took the time to educate herself and then put in all the effort to educate other people and change her community. She’s teaching people how to react in the event of a cardiac emergency and giving individuals a chance.”

Jillian chose this ambitious project after witnessing the devastating impact of heart disease in her community and subsequently learning that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. The American Heart Association notes that heart disease contributes to 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year.

“I think death from heart attacks are so preventable,” says Jillian. “If you know symptoms of a heart attack you can be proactive and go to the hospital.”

Over the course of 18 months, Jillian advocated for women’s heart health awareness and helped community members learn more about how to lead heart-healthy lives.

She created a public Gold Award Women’s Heart Health Awareness Facebook page, where she posted daily tips to help group members make heart-healthy decisions. She also hosted a fun workshop for Flower Mound elementary girls to teach them about heart health habits.

Even more significantly, in February of 2017 and 2018, Jillian hosted AED/CPR trainings and First Aid courses that resulted in the certification of nearly 100 individuals. During this time, she was also busy raising funds to purchase a new ZOLL AED Plus and to provide training to four Twin Coves Park employees.

“On behalf of the Parks and Rec Department and the Twin Coves staff, and anyone who goes into the park, we want to thank you for your efforts,” said park manager Mark Long, during his remarks at the March 3 meeting. “It would be my plea to you to become certified in the AED or CPR or basic First Aid. You never know when you’ll need to use it. And while I hope we never have to use it at Twin Coves Park, I know that because of Jillian’s efforts, we’re going to be prepared for that day.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement that a Girl Scout can receive. The award recognizes girls who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and who have identified and completed projects that have a long-lasting and sustainable impact on their local community and beyond. Over the past century, nearly 1 million dedicated and driven girls have made a lasting impact on their communities and beyond. Jillian Rash is a member of Troop 3838, led by Andie Milton.

To learn more about how Cardio Partners can help you serve your community, contact our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, a time to recognize the severity of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and what can be done to help save others during such a tragic experience. Every year, more than 350,000 people die in the U.S. of out-of-hospital non-traumatic SCA. According to the Sudden Cardiac Awareness Foundation, this number is almost equal to the amount of lives claimed by Alzheimer’s disease, assault with firearms, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, HIV, house fires, motor vehicle accidents, prostate cancer and suicide combined.

Despite such a high number, SCA can be treated successfully if caught in time for CPR and defibrillation with an automatic external defibrillator (AED). If a rescuer can perform these lifesaving tasks, survival rates increase from an average of 10 percent to 50 percent.

Every business, school and home should have an AED present and accessible. As part of SCA Awareness Month, we are encouraging the implementation of AEDs by partnering with our manufacturer ZOLL Medical and giving away two free AEDs!

The ZOLL AED Plus is designed for any rescuer and is also one of the only AEDs to offer CPR feedback. The Real CPR Help feature, audio and on-screen prompts will help walk rescuers through performing chest compressions. It also measures the depth and rate to ensure safety.

Throughout October, go to cardiopartners.com and sign up to win a free ZOLL AED Plus! Winners will be announced on 10/16/17 and 10/31/17 on the Cardio Partners Facebook and Linkedin pages.

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