How a Defibrillator Works

An entrepreneur with more than a quarter century of experience in the medical device industry, Randall Fincke heads Advent Medical Products, a firm he founded that designs and markets defibrillators, telemedicine monitors, and other devices for healthcare organizations, EMS Field and public settings in the US and international markets. Before leading Advent, he developed a wearable defibrillator weighing only one pound for Cadent Medical, a company he founded and later sold to Cardiac Science. Over the course of his career, Randall Fincke has secured numerous patents and United States Food and Drug Administration approvals.

One of the medical devices known as a defibrillator delivers an electric shock, which in turn helps the heart regain its proper rhythm. Some cardiac conditions affect the rhythm of the heart and cause a serious event referred to as ventricular fibrillation. This occurs when the heart begins to beat quickly and erratically. The shock produced by the defibrillator effectively assists the heart to resume its more normal rhythm which has saved thousands of lives when these interventions can be made in a timely fashion.

Defibrillators come in many types, including the well-known external defibrillators, which use two pads to make contact with and shock the breast. There also exist internal defibrillators and pacemakers that save the lives of thousands in the United States by monitoring the heart’s rhythm and shocking it when that rhythm strays from an optimal pattern.

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