Describing AED’s  as the Ctrl-Alt-Del for the heart, the article explains what’s happening inside the AED which has two main functions. First, it needs to recognize the lethal haywire rhythm of ventricular fibrillation. Second, it needs to deliver a 100-kilowatt shock to the heart. This jolt allows the heart to restart its normal rhythm, sort of like a Ctrl-Alt-Del for the organ. If the shock is delivered in the first minute of ventricular fibrillation, in more than 90 percent of cases the heart will regain a normal sequence of electric signals, and the steady contractions will return. It took decades of careful engineering to develop a device that could perform those two functions reliably, have a long shelf life, and be both safe and easy to use.

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