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AED's Effectiveness in Treating Electric Shock Victims

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Paul wrote:

> I am with a Fish and Wildlife Management agency and we conduct electrofishing as a sample
> technique to stun and capture fish. This involves the use of electricity in water. As an agency
> doing everything we can to minimize the inherent risks of this activity we are considering the
> potential benefits of acquiring some automated external defibrillators (AED's). I was wondering if
> AED's effective in treating someone who's heart has been affected due to electrical shock.

It is.

> All that I've read about the benefits of AED devices is in the treatment of sudden cardio arrest
> (SCA) and associated ventricular fibrillation.

Electrocution causes this.

> I have read little to nothing about AED's use for treating electric shock victims.

Electrocution victims often have severe electrical burns that limit their survival.

> I wonder if a substantial electrical shock typically affects the heart in the same way as SCA or
> if it is more likely to stop the heart entirely?

Ventricular fibrillation is invariably lethal irrespective of the underlying cause.

> If it is the latter, perhaps AED's are not that effective for treating electrical shock victims.
>

It is the former and AEDs will be effective whether the ventricular fibrillation is arising from a
heart attack, cardiomyopathy, a baseball striking the chest, or from electrical shock.

>
> Any information you can provide would be most appreciated.
>

You are welcome, Paul :-)

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Andrew

--
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Board-Certified Cardiologist
http://www.heartmdphd.com/

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post #2 of 2

Re: AED's Effectiveness in Treating Electric Shock Victims

My best advice is to use chicken blood to catch fish. Shiny worms work well with bass. All the hand
made lures are just a waste of time especially if you are fishing in a stocked lake with timed fish
feeders. Just be out there when the feeders are scheduled to go off and you will be fine.

The need for an AED would be very small for you. However, if just once, you had an employee out on
the water whose heart stopped, it would be a small investment. An AED would be very effective for a
person who went into V-fib due to electricity. Without knowing the details of your operation I
couldn't tell you how big the risk was.

I also know that training is important. It needs to be completed at least annually and involve
everyone who electrocutes fishes.

One of my passions is CPR. It is amazing what bystander CPR can do for an arrest patient while
waiting for professional help. Although it is unlikely that bystander CPR will restore a decent
heart rate and rhythm, it does keep the brain alive until help arrives. If you are anywhere where
help can be obtained in fifteen minutes, I would suggest that you invest resources in CPR training
and telephonic technology that can call for help.

Just a few thoughts.

j

"Paul" <paul.macmahon@gov.ab.ca> wrote in message
news:e2b3c455.0402231232.4ba46e42@posting.google.com...
> I am with a Fish and Wildlife Management agency and we conduct electrofishing as a sample
> technique to stun and capture fish. This involves the use of electricity in water. As an agency
> doing everything we can to minimize the inherent risks of this activity we are considering the
> potential benefits of acquiring some automated external defibrillators (AED's). I was wondering if
> AED's effective in treating someone who's heart has been affected due to electrical shock. All
> that I've read about the benefits of AED devices is in the treatment of sudden cardio arrest (SCA)
> and associated ventricular fibrillation. I have read little to nothing about AED's use for
> treating electric shock victims. I wonder if a substantial electrical shock typically affects the
> heart in the same way as SCA or if it is more likely to stop the heart entirely? If it is the
> latter, perhaps AED's are not that effective for treating electrical shock victims.
>
> Any information you can provide would be most appreciated.
>
> Paul
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