A defibrillator battery is a long-life, lithium battery used solely to power a defibrillator. Defibrillators are electronic devices that administer electric shocks to a person's heart, allowing it to continue to beat normally. These devices are used to save the lives of people who suffer from life-threatening heart conditions such as ventricular fibrillation. For thousands of people, a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death.
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Types of Defibrillators
An internal cardioverter defibrillator (also known as an ICD) is a type of defibrillator which is surgically implanted into a patient. The ICD is usually implanted below the left collarbone. It monitors the patient's heartbeat and will automatically administer an electric shock when an abnormal heartbeat is detected.
An automated external defibrillator (also known as an AED), is a defibrillator commonly used in hospitals and ambulances. AEDs are used in emergency situations, most commonly when a person has suffered a heart attack. AEDs are also found in health clubs, convention centres and airports and can be used by non-medical people.
Caring for a Defibrillator Battery
Defibrillator batteries are engineered to wear out slowly over a period of about five years. If you are implanted with an ICD, regular visits to your doctor are necessary to monitor the device. During these visits, your doctor will inform you when it is time to change your ICD battery. Your doctor can change the battery by opening the skin where the ICD is located, unscrewing the leads and implanting a new device.
Certain electronic or magnetic sources can interfere with the ICD battery --- such as large magnets, industrial power generators, high-voltage power lines and ham radios. Ask your doctor for a complete list of things to avoid. However, microwaves, remote controls, computers and printers are completely safe to use and will not interfere with the performance of the ICD.
Disposing of an Old Defibrillator Battery
Consider recycling as an option for the disposal of your old defibrillator battery. Batteries contain harmful toxins that are released into the environment when not disposed of properly. The Internet offers a multitude of options for battery recycling. You can also call your local recycling centre and ask if they accept defibrillator batteries.
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