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Heart Attack Patients Do Not Benefit From Home Defibrillators

Armen Hareyan's picture

New study shows there is no much added benefit from use of home automated external defibrillators (AED) for patients that are at risk for heart attack.

A study by Seattle Institute of Cardiac Research examined 7001 patients with moderate risk for heart attack during 37 weeks. Patients were divided into two groups: half with defibrillators at home and half with instructions on how to call emergency in case of cardiac event. By the end of study there was almost no difference between survival rates: 222 among those with defibrillators at home and 228 without.

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Researchers urge that early prevention methods are more important to keep patients away from heart attacks, rather than to be prepared for it at home. Nowadays AEDs cost from $1,200 to $2,000 per unit, and this money should be better used on early prevention methods, such as quality medication, regular exercising, non-smoking, healthy dieting, and regular doctor consultation to make sure there are no other health conditions existing, like blood pressure.

AED is designed for stimulating heart beat when a heart attack is experienced. Quivering heart is being short-circuited and shocked. This enables to establish normal heart beat to those with either stopped, or rapidly beating hearts.

Each year about 125000 Americans are having cardiac arrest in their homes and about 40000 at public places. Cardiac arrest is more dangerous than heart attack and home survival rate is only 2%. This is why physicians are still advising to have AEDs at home even after this study, because they are sure that early defibrillation is the key for saving patient's life.