What is a Defibrillator?
A Defibrillator is a sophisticated, reliable, safe, computerised device that delivers electric shocks to a casualty in cardiac arrest when the ECG rhythm is one that is likely to respond to a shock.
Defibrillators are simple devices to use with clear guidance given to the operator on what to do.
What is a Cardiac Arrest?
What is an AED?
A cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. If someone has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally and is unresponsive, they are in cardiac arrest.
It is possible to survive and recover from a cardiac arrest, if you get the right treatment quickly.
The most common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF).
Ventricular fibrillation happens when the electrical activity of your heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or 'fibrillates' instead. VF can sometimes be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall, by using a device called a defibrillator.
This stands for Automated External Defibrillator. There is no difference, this is a shortened term for Defibrillator.
Can I use a Defibrillator?
Anyone can use an AED. Untrained people have used them successfully to save a life and lack of training should not be a barrier. It is desirable for people to be trained in the use of an AED and that they keep their skills up to date, but if the circumstances dictate that no trained operator is present, someone willing to use an AED must not be deterred from doing so.
Can a Defibrillator be used on Children?
Yes. You will need to check with the manufacturer of the AED as to the changes required to make an AED safer for children aged between 1 and 8 years old.
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