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Are firefighters able to recognize ventricular fibrillation? Preliminary data

      Firefighters are now equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs), applied in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. However, in the era of increasingly emerging “hybrid” AEDs, allowing to switch to the manual mode, the ability to recognize cardiac arrest rhythms seems very important. As shown by scientific research, even a short interruption in chest compressions preceding a defibrillation attempt reduces the effectiveness of defibrillation and thereby the effectiveness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation [
      • Kern KB
      • Hilwig RW
      • Berg RA
      • Sanders AB
      • Ewy GA
      Importance of continuous chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation: improved outcome during a simulated single lay-rescuer scenario.
      ]. The medical personnel operating within the emergency medical services or emergency departments (EDs) should have the ability to interpret electrocardiographic (ECG) results, particularly regarding cardiac arrest rhythms. It is therefore crucial for all medical personnel operating in prehospital settings, with access to AEDs offering an option to switch to the manual mode, to be able to recognize basic ECG rhythms, in particular those of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia.
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      References

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