On call: Home defibrillators

On call

Home defibrillators

Published: June, 2008

Q. Every time I walk through a mall or airport, I see machines for reviving heart attack victims. My husband has had two heart attacks. He's doing very well now, but I wonder if I can get a device like this for our home. And if I get one, would I be able to learn how to use it?

A. It's an important question. About 166,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. each year, and only about 6% of these patients survive long enough to make it out of the hospital. Any attempt to do better should start at home, since about 80% of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »