ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ambulanceman using a portable defibrillator machine in an attempt to revive a man who has suffered a heart attack. A defibrillator delivers a controlled electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm in cases of cardiac arrest due to fibrillation (a rapid and chaotic beating of the many individual muscle fibres of the heart). The transparent green sheets visible under the defibrillator electrodes are conductive gel pads, used to ensure good conductivity and to prevent burns. The end of a plastic tube, known as a Gudeal airway, is seen in the patient's mouth. The tube keeps the airway open and ensures that breathing is not obstructed.
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