I'm deeply disturbed. Deeply.

I just flashed through Amazon and discovered they are selling home defibrillators. This is that thing on "E.R." that they charge and then yell "clear" before placing the paddles on the momentarily dead person's chest. Everybody goes hands off for a second and the person's body does this jumping seizing motion as electric current is passed though it.

I understand the science behind it. Basically, the doctor is trying to "shock" the person's heart into restarting or leveling out in function, depending on the specific problem. I even understand that if someone has a sudden cardiac arrest there is a greater chance of survival if a defibrillator is used in the first 5 minutes. (Apparently, 50% of those suffering from a sudden heart attack will survive if a defibrillator is used in the first 5 minutes. After that point, the survival rate is 1%.) Obviously, I can see the pros of having one at home.

My problem is that these things are deadly if used incorrectly. Yes, the same can be said of guns or gas ovens. But frankly, a home defibrillation system is far more scary to me then having a gun in my home. There's safety measures for guns--safety catches or whatever they're called (can you tell I don't own a gun?), locking gun cabinets, the practice of hiding the ammunition in some other place than the gun is stored.

But the point behind a home defibrillator system is to be able to quickly use it should the need arise, God forbid. It's not like you can store the paddles somewhere else or something. It would defeat the purpose to have it broken down into parts and those parts separated. In an emergency, I really don't want my kids or husband to have to run all over the house getting all the parts of the machine that might save my life. If they are as A.D.D. as I am, I'll die before they finish the task.

I guess what scares me though about home defibrillator sets is that far more kids are emulating the good guys than the bad guys. Let's face it, the people on E.R. are hero-types (when the patient lives). Kids want to be like heroes, not like the losers. There's going to be a kid somewhere playing doctor with a friend who kills the friend because he "over-defibbed."

Sure, I may be overreacting. But the first time a kid accidently shot another kid with a gun and the national media caught wind of it, people were appalled. People were confused. People were pissed off. How in the world did a child get ahold of a gun in the first place?? Suddenly gun control became a major issue.

Maybe I've missed some important legislation or FDA guidelines (and please tell me if I have), but it seems to me that in another few years, when home defibrillator systems are relatively commonplace in homes across America, some child is going to die an innocent death and suddenly there will be nation-wide mother-driven organizations calling for severe regulations on the accursed things. Mothers Against Home Defibrillators.

Can't wait.
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