My rant was less directed at this particular $40 item, than the $5000 "offshore" AED's being sold as life saving. If you will bear with me for a minute, I will try and explain a little further:
Survival in a cardiac arrest is dependent on a "chain of survival" It requires all
the steps to be in place or it is 0%. The hard work comes in a resucitation after the return of a pulse. The chain involves:
Immediate recognition of the arrest and the start of effective
CPR within 1-2 mins
Defibrillation within 10 mins (but far better within 5 mins)
ALS (meaning IV's, multiple IV medications) immediately upon return of a spontaneous pulse (and in many cases necessary to help the heart restart).
Extensive ICU level support within 30 mins (possibly out to 1 hour).
When these things don't exist the chance of survival is 0% with the exceptions I mentioned in my prior post:
Hypothermia - Survival cases are most likely those in which the heart is slowed to a point and blood is shunted away from the skin so as to make a pulse undetectable - but not a true cardiac arrest. Actually CPR can be harmful in these cases.
Lightning strikes - The heart has automaticity, meaning after it gets short circuited by a lightning strike it can self-reboot in which case support for circulation through properly performed
CPR for a few mins can allow this to happen, Respiratory support is likely to be needed afterwards for quite a while and hospital support will be needed in a very short time.
So buy one and keep it in your car, take a CPR class and practice, practice, practice....You may one day save a life, I just wanted to prevent people from spending money on items with the expectation that if we push on their chest and shock them a few times two hours from the marina all will be okay.
Yes 0.1% chance is better than 0% and if it were my wife, I would do CPR if it wouldn't endager the rest of the people on the boat. But I would also know when it was time to stop and that is the hardest call to make.
Not trying to get everyone off in a bad mood today, but we (meaning sailors as a whole) seem able to talk about the realities of MOB, sinking and other emergencies at sea, but shy away from the realities of medical emergencies.