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A defibrillator, sometimes known as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a small electronic device designed to allow minimally trained people to provide lifesaving defibrillation (electric shock to the heart) to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
The device analyses and looks for shockable heart rhythm, advises the rescuer of the need for defibrillation and delivers a shock if needed.
A defibrillator applies a brief pulse of electrical current allowing the heart’s normal electrical system to resume normal control. (Please note that a 100% success rate cannot be guaranteed, but this could be the casualty’s best and only chance of survival).
When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, time is of the essence. If we can get to them quickly, start CPR quickly and get a defibrillator on them quickly, we dramatically improve their chance of survival, but without these vital interventions, the victim will almost certainly die.
With less than 1 in 10 people surviving a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, we must find alternative ways to help. The heart only stays in the right condition for defibrillation to be successful for just a few minutes, so we need that defibrillator on the victim ideally within the first 3-5 minutes if we stand a good chance of saving them.
So when we say “quickly”, the only real way of making this happen reliably, is defibrillators in the community, near the areas we live and work.
Defibrillators are highly intelligent pieces of medical equipment that are designed to be used by anyone, this could be healthcare professionals in dental or GP practices, first aiders or a good Samaritan simply passing by and using a Public Access Defibrillator; in fact you don’t even need training to use it.
The defibrillator makes all the decisions for you, so you can be confident in the instructions it is giving you and they are safe to use.
There are nearly 300 deaths each year in schools amongst our children and having a defibrillator can help reduce this number.