Jargon Buster

Letter A

Ablation

Removing or altering cardiac tissue that is complicating cardiac rhythms.

AED Responder Kit / Responder Kit

A kit designed to prepare a patient for defibrillation. The kit includes nitrile sterile gloves, tuff-cut scissors to cut through clothing, a razor to clear a patient’s chest of hair, cleaning wipes, dry tissues a res-cue mask for hygienic mouth-to-mouth and a foil blanket to keep the victim warm after the defib unit has been used and removed from their body.

Algorithm

A formulated code that enables defib units to analyse a patient’s heart rhythm and treat cardiac arrest with an appropriate shock.

Arrhythmia

Irregular cardiac rhythms.

Asystole

Commonly known as “a flat line”, meaning there is no measurable heart rhythm detected.

Atrial Fibrillation / A-Fib

The most common of abnormal heart rhythms, often referred to as palpitations. Atrial Fibrillation can often be hard to detect but ECG devices effectively identify the hearts irregularity.

Atrial Flutter

Usually associated with tachycardia (heart beats over 100 times a minute), an Atrial Flutter is when an unnatural heart rhythm occurs in the hearts atria.

Atrium

The two upper chambers of each side of the heart.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Automated External Defibrillators are the full name for defib units, responsible for detecting the need of, and delivery of a therapeutic electrical shock to realign the cardiac rhythm of a cardiac arrest victims heart.

Automatic and Semi-Automatic Defibrillators

Automatic:

Designed for use by laypersons (ideally with basic training on how to use the AED but the units will give visual and audible instructions allowing practically anyone to use them successfully), these units will issue shocks as and when needed automatically.

Semi-Automatic:

Designed for use by healthcare professionals who are familiar with and can understand ECG (electrocardiogram) readings, these units will detect when a shock is required and alert the user who will then make the decision on whether or not the shock should be issued. Semi-automatic units also have a pacemaker function for occasions where the victims heart rate is too slow (bradycardia).

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