What is a Manual Defibrillator?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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A manual defibrillator is a medical device used for the treatment of cardiac problems. Depending upon the patient’s condition and medical recommendation, the medical expert would deliver voltage shocks to the heart by placing the pads on the chest of the patient. It is used for various cases of cardiac conditions such as cardiac, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Basically, manual defibrillators are the devices used for restoring successful heart functioning in critical or emergency situations. They are found in various different locations and are not restricted to hospitals and medical clinics.

The different types of defibrillators include the manual defibrillator, automatic external defibrillator and implantable. They are generally used for the same purpose, which is supplying electrical energy to the heart to regain the normal heart condition. A manual defibrillator, which is an external type, uses the electrocardiogram readings to show the required amount of voltage to be applied. They are very efficient and need expert control to ensure proper operation. The next level of defibrillator is the automated external defibrillator. It is the more advanced type of the defibrillator because it automatically measures and decides the amount of the voltage shock to the heart. The internal defibrillators, or implantable, are used for the internal monitoring of the heart using the pulse generation technique.


The very first step towards the application of the manual defibrillator is the preparation. The defibrillator should be ready and secure for further use. It should be placed on a hard dry surface, the power charge checked, and cables and pads connected. The voltage requirement should be checked, depending upon the type of manual defibrillator, since there are two types of defibrillators; mono-phase and biphasic. The charge button will be pushed to the on position, which can be found either on the equipment or the pads. Once ready, the discharge button is pushed when emergency responders are ready to give the lifesaving shock.

There are few guidelines for the use of a manual defibrillator in case of an emergency. A medical expert should be consulted, if the user is not properly trained in its usage, because the application of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) needs expert help. The area of placement should be cleared, and the pads should be placed on the chest so that they can be used to help restore the heart rate. The patient’s condition is checked by connecting the AED, whether the patient needs a round of voltage or not. If the AED demands that a burst of electricity be performed, the electrical shock should be provided. The the patient and the manual defibrillator should be monitored until the machine states that the device is no longer needed.


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