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General Information

A defibrillator delivers an electrical shock to restore a normal heartbeat. Sticky electrodes or paddles are placed on your chest to shock the heart. Defibrillation is an emergency treatment for life-threatening heart conditions like cardiac arrest and arrhythmias, though it can also be a scheduled medication intervention to treat an irregular heartbeat.

A life-threatening abnormal heartbeat can cause the lower chambers of your heart (ventricles) to beat unevenly and extremely fast. This prevents enough blood getting to your brain and body, which can quickly be fatal.

While defibrillation is performed by a healthcare professional in a hospital, an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can be used by a layperson in emergency situations in public.

Our team of cardiologists, surgeons and radiologists at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center are highly trained and experienced in emergency heart care, including using defibrillators. Call 911 in an emergency, and trust our experts to provide exceptional care.

We’re committed to the health of our community. We want to stop life-threatening heart conditions before they start. Talk to your primary care provider about a heart screening to learn more about your risk. If you don’t have a primary care provider, call (574) 537-5000 for a referral.

Recovering from defibrillation

If you’re treated with a defibrillator at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center, we will monitor you and evaluate whether you need additional treatments to stabilize your condition and treat the underlying cause of arrhythmia.

Through our rehabilitation therapy program, you can restore your heart health and return to normal activities. Our integrated care team will support you through any lifestyle changes needed to protect your heart, including:

  • Increasing exercise
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing stress
  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol

We offer a weight loss program, smoking cessation program and several support groups to encourage you in your journey. 

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