What sort of Shock comes out of a Defibrillator?
Automated external defibrillators or AED’s, usually have an in-built escalating energy system, and start at a lower electrical shock for a smaller person, then after the first shock the defibrillator escalates in energy to see if it can be more effective on the second and third shock. The energy output on defibrillators is measured in joules and most defibrillator have set joules for the first, second and third shocks.
These shock protocols will be different for each different defibrillator as the information and success of the defibrillator shock protocol is based on the manufacturer of the defibrillator and the testing and assurance of the device for medical approval – TGA or FDA approval.
The general shock output on a Defibrillator is usually set at the following:
- 1st shock – 100 to 150 joules
- 2nd shock 150 to 250 to joules
- 3rd shock up to 360 joules.
The medical measurement for defibrillation of a patient heart is usually 4 joules of electricity per kilogram of body weight, so higher joule devices are somewhat recommended for a larger patient.
Each different manufacturer of defibrillators around the world also have a card up their sleeve here- they say that the way the defibrillator shocks through the heart can make a difference as well – (the biphasic wave form).
Defibrillators are safe
So, let’s get back to the basics here, remember an AED will not administer a shock unless ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia is detected in the patient, this is why the defibrillator is safe to use and the rescuer cannot shock a patient unless their heart is faulting.