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Ok, bear with me... Could you defibrillate someone with a TIG welder in an emergency.

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  • Ok, bear with me... Could you defibrillate someone with a TIG welder in an emergency.

    Imagine this, you are welding away when one of your co-workers has a heart attack. You ring the ambulance and they say they are gonna be 40+ mins.(there's been a big accident somewhere and they are very busy) You know that within 40 minutes they will be beyond saving and CPR isn't working. You look over to your TIG welder and wonder, is it possible to give someone's heart a jolt with a TIG welder to re-start it? if so what settings would you use? I am thinking DC pulse low amps just tap the foot pedal quickly while the torch and ground clamp are touching their chest either side of their heart. Chances are if you do this wrong it could irreversibly damage their heart, but lets face it, they are already technically dead.

    I know it is a bit of a weird topic, forgive me.


    *edit* if anyone thinks this is possible I will pre-save the settings in my machine, just in case...
    Last edited by I Like Milk; 06-13-2020, 04:42 AM.

  • #2
    I suspect you'd still end up with a dead guy, but with burns where you connected the leads. The HF would not be good.

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    • #3
      I'd call 911 first and keep the CPR going. I'm not an EMT type, but health care professionals tell me that there is a golden 20 minutes between the patient collapsing and getting the necessary medical care they need. Chances are pretty good that a favorable outcome will happen in the first twenty minutes, then the odds get worse after that.

      I had the misfortune of watching a hiker arrive at a high altitude resort and collapse, even though there were two doctors right there on the spot, it took an hour before the EMT's would arrive. When they took the patient down the hill, one of the docs told us that he wouldn't survive and that they did the best they could. The Doc said that without that lifesaving equipment coming within the first 20 minutes, things got worse.

      You have a good question about using a tig welder to defibrilate. Are there any medical professionals in the house?

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      • #4
        I’m no doctor, just a lowly fireman that’s defibrillated more people than I’d ever like to remember. In my professional opinion, what you’re asking is not possible. First of all, the person in arrest has to have a cardiac rhythm favorable to defibrillation, called a shockable rhythm. This process actually jump stops a heart, it does not jump start it. If a person has no cardiac rhythm, the only thing that will bring them back is medication.

        The actually defibrillation process is a very refined and specific event. It has changed over the years, going from mono-phasic stacked shocks to bi-phasic linear shocks....yada yada.

        Either way, if you zapped someone with a tig welder who was in cardiac arrest, and you brought them back to life, it would be like 1 in a million chance. Pretty much the same chance as the old school “cardiac thump”. Remember watching TV when the movie doctor would take his fist and hammer down on the chest of a patient while yelling “BREATH **** YOU!!” That’s a cardiac thump. In theory, it COULD shock the heart back into a rhythm that could sustain a person, for a while at least.

        Those are among the choices you make when you decide on where to live and/or work. How far away is food, the LWS and medical help.

        Please don’t experiment with this plan as you’ll likely just cause some pretty bad burns and lose a lot of friends if you keep shocking them.

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        • #5
          Nice to hear from someone who actually knows something!! Thanks!

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          • #6
            Nice explaining Ryan...
            Bob Wright

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            • #7
              Don't care what Ryan says. We need testing.

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              • #8
                Safety third.

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                • #9
                  I thought of this whilst watching one of the Mission impossible films where Ethan (tom cruise) uses what appears to be "the mains" in whatever country he is in to restart a heart. However much electricity it was, it was a pretty meaty cable coming straight from the wall. I doubt it would ever work and the 999,999 times out of a million that it doesn't work, you will probably end up getting arrested for murder when the police arrive to find a heart attack victim with a welder clamped to them.

                  Guess I watch too much TV. I'll stick to CPR until help arrives.

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                  • #10
                    It’s not much juice to be honest. 200 joules for a biphasic machine and 360 joules max on a mono phasic machine.

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                    • #11
                      If you’re really interested, I’m sure you can find some videos on defibrillating live people. It’s called cardioversion. It’s basically when a living breathing person’s heart has gone wonky and we’d have to deliver a shock to make the cardiac muscle act right. It doesn’t happen a lot, but I generally have the person sit upright and put their head back as far as it’ll go, preferable against the wall or headrest of a sturdy chair because my crew is about to hit them with about 200v of DC current that can be as high as 45amps over about a half a millisecond or so. If their head ain’t back against something, it’ll get there shortly and might even injure them. It ain’t fun and it ain’t at all like what’s on TV. None of it is actually. When you zap someone, they just twitch a little. Not like the big jump you see on the ER TV shows.

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                      • #12
                        You could start off with some purchases from Paradise Electro, Rimba, Zeus, Folsom, ...

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                        • #13
                          I had no idea what those were so I googled the first one....that was a mistake. Goodness.

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                          • #14
                            Grizzly1944 is correct. CPR is given in that scenario until the patient is delivered to a physician. At least that’s the way it was when I was an EMT in NY in the 80s/90s.

                            Using a TIG machine would make you vulnerable to every ambulance chaser on the planet. Might work, you’d be a creative genius and a hero, or, the autopsy could show the voltage had damaged the guys heart and you and your family could starve under a bridge together.
                            =======================
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                            "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters"
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                            • #15
                              I would hope there is more than CPR done before the patient arrives at the emergency department. EMS has improved since you were there I’d say. It’s certainly not as capable as an ER, but at the very least a first round of cardiac drugs can be delivered to a patient in arrest within a few minutes of making contact on scene, provided they can obtain either IV access or an ET tube.

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