Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is a medical tool that helps to save someone’s life who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). They work by scanning the heart to determine whether a shock is needed and if so, will deliver one. Working self sufficiently, they shock the patient automatically without you having to do anything once the electrode pads are in place.

AED’s are installed in offices, doctors surgeries, sports facilities, factories, supermarkets, schools, local villages and many more places throughout the UK. With a drive to raise awareness about cardiac arrests and for as many AED’s to be installed in public places up and down the country, it is really important to know what they do and how important they are.

Currently in the UK, there are over 10,000 defibrillators with maps helping you to locate your nearest one, we do however, need more installed across the country, after all the more defibrillators that are nearby, the more likely a life will be saved.

AED’s can make the difference between life and death, with the chances of survival increasing from 6% to 74% if a defibrillator and CPR is used within the first three to five minutes of somebody falling ill. Working to shock the heart so that it stops beating, the aim of this is that the heart will then start beating itself normally which cannot be done without an electric shock. It is important to remember that this is different to when someone suffers a heart attack as this is usually due to a blockage of the arteries - not an electrical fault with the heart as with a SCA victim.

It can be confusing deciding which AED would be best for you as there are so many options out there but, considering where your defibrillator is most likely to be used can be a great place to start. AED’s in offices for example would not need an outer casing that is as robust as a defibrillator that would be used outside. Similarly, if you need an AED at a sports facility, you may want to consider one that is designed to withstand the elements more than one that would be only used inside.

There are many leading brands of AED’s on the market, all of which are manufactured to high standards and which put science at the forefront of their technologies. Manufacturers such as Zoll, Defibtech, Phillips and Cardiac Science all deliver impressive quality AED’s so that if an emergency occurs, you know you can rely on your chosen defibrillator.

19th Jul 2020 Christopher Maltby CW

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