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Hearts in Danger: Leads Left Behind - Science Insider

CPR AND DEFIBRILLATION: Cardiac arrest is the sudden, abrupt loss of heart function resulting from such factors as heart disease, electrocution, drowning, choking and trauma. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) combines rescue breathing and chest compressions to keep victims of cardiac arrest alive until medical treatment is available. During cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping blood. Proper CPR supports a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to buy time until the organ begins to function normally again. If the arrest is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm, delivering an electric shock to the heart (defibrillation) can help. Some defibrillators are implanted or applied inside the body, while others are designed for use by bystanders in emergency situations.

HOW LASERS WORK: "Laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It describes any device that creates and amplifies a narrow, focused beam of light whose photons are all traveling in the same direction, rather than emitting every which way at once. Lasers can be configured to emit many different colors in the spectrum, but each laser can emit only one color. There are many different types of laser, but all have an empty cavity containing a lasing medium: either a crystal like ruby or garnet, or a gas or liquid. There are two mirrors on either end of the cavity; one of which is half-silvered, meaning that it will reflect some light and let some light through. In a laser, the atoms or molecules of the lasing medium are "pumped" by applying intense flashes of light or electricity. The end result is a sudden burst of so-called "coherent" light as all the atoms discharge in a rapid chain reaction.

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Laurence M. Epstein, MD
Chief, Arrhythmia Service
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, MA 02115
(857) 307-1945

Dr. Sudarshan Chamakuri
Medical Physicist
American Association of Physicists in Medicine

Under the Microscope


More Information About Cardiac Arrhythmia

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