As the technology around us grows at a steadfast rate, we tend to only relate these advancements to the hot consumer gadgets. However, instead of writing up about the latest cell-phones and general tech news, I decided to hit the road and delve into the world of medical technology. My main focus was to check out some of the devices used in emergency situations, and see how it can increase the potential of saving a life. From talking with my local Paramedics, I was informed about a neat device that can be found in arenas, libraries, community buildings, restaurants, and other public buildings mainly in the United States, and also in the Province of Ontario, Canada.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that has a wide variety of functions that are useful in emergency situations. Some of these include: checking a person's heart rhythm, recognizing a rhythm that requires a shock, and advising the rescuer when a shock is needed.
ZOLL AED Plus
ZOLL, a company that creates AED's, has many devices that can be found in Ontario (Pictured above). Their website has an interactive demonstration of how these machines work, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Of course, liability is always an issue when it comes to a life or death situation.
In the United States, any operator of an AED must be trained in CPR and AED operation. Most state laws will extend liability to a trained operator.
In Canada, the Ontario government has passed legislation that will protect people from civil liability when they attempt to save a life using a public AED. This act simply allows someone who isn't a doctor or medical professional to be able to save your life with the defibrillator.
Many years ago, we did not have this 'smart' technology. So, as we owe technology for providing us with entertainment and business, we also owe the advancement of technology for saving lives of those who may not have been able to make it, should devices such as AED's not exist.
If anyone has comments, stories, or examples of medical technology you found interesting, please feel free to comment below.