Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Method for avoiding sudden death


Sudden death is a health problem with a rate of one in every thousand inhabitants per annum. The crisis appears suddenly, although the prompt application – within a period of a few minutes – of an elecrtical discharge from a defibrillator – makes the difference between life and death. Persons with a high risk of suffering sudden death have an internal automatic defibrillator (IAD) implanted.

Between 800 and 1000 people die in Gipuzkoa each year as a result of sudden death. These deaths are thus certified because the fatal outcome is unexpected. It affects apparently healthy persons or ill people but who lead normal lives. In many cases the outcome itself is the first sign of the illness.

Most cases have a cardiovascular origin. The cardiac rhythm undergoes a change known as ventricular fibrillation. This involves a very rapid arrhythmia - more than 400 beats a minute. The heart cannot pump blood and it stops.

Given a case of sudden death, it is vital to administer treatment immediately. If it is not administered within ten minutes, death is certain. On the other hand, if the treatment takes place within two minutes, there is a 100% survival rate. An electrical discharge with a defibrillator makes the difference between life and death. This is why, in order to avoid avoidable deaths, there is an increasing number of public locations where automatic, user-friendly defibrillators are installed.

Although in half of the cases the symptoms manifest themselves unexpectedly, there are persons who have a higher risk of dying suddenly. These are patients with cardiac complaints or who have already had a heart attack. Their risk can be quantified. In some cases, to avoid the crisis and thereby, death, an IAD is implanted. Policlínica Guipúzcoa and the Hospital Donostia are two of the centres where implants are carried out.

These devices consist of a number of wires connected to the heart and to a central unit located under the skin; the programming is personalised and stores in its memory all the arrhythmias and electrical discharges undergone by the patient. About 70 defibrillators of this type are implanted every year in Gipuzkoa - with excellent results.

The IAD controls the patient’s heart and is automatically activated in a crisis. The defibrillator comes into action within 8 seconds. The patient recovers the heartbeat without even realising that a crisis has taken place, although they will feel a small electrical discharge.

After 4 years of IAD implants, 80% of the patients have suffered a crisis. The IAD does not interfere with their daily lives but, above all, they stay alive. The number of persons who have been saved from certain death is the same as the number of devices implanted.

In the last few years a new type defibrillator has been tested – it is similar but with the difference that it is placed onto the skin of the patient. It is suitable for situations of transitory risk and enables its fitting and its removal without any surgery.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>