The term defib is merely a shortening of the term defibrillation. In defibrillation, the doctor uses an electronic device to provide an electric shock to the heart.
Defibrillation is designed to restore the hearts normal contraction rhythms. It is used when a patient is in cardiac arrest or experiencing a dangerous arrhythmia. Many emergency vehicles that transport patients with cardiac issues come equipped with a defibrillator.
Patients requiring defibrillation may not always be in a hospital when they are experiencing cardiac distress. Consequently, recent technological advancements have yielded small portable defibrillators called automated external defibrillators (AEDs). According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that AEDs be provided and accessible in high traffic areas such as airports, sports arenas and high-rise offices. The American Heart Association also provides a short four-hour course entitled Heartsaver AED. The course is designed to educate rescuers and first responders in CPR and AED use.