How many times can you use a defibrillator on a person?

How many times can you use a defibrillator on a person?

To help the heart to return to it’s normal rhythm, you can use a defibrillator on a person as many times as needed. The chances of the heart returning to it’s natural pace after a few attempts (3-4 shocks) unfortunately begin to decline however, a defibrillator can be used many more times in order to attempt to restore the heartbeat to it’s normal pace.

If it is obvious that the patient has passed away, you should then stop trying to defibrillate however, this should be after a number of attempts delivering shocks.

A defibrillator works by shocking a heart to help it return to it’s natural pace and is used on somebody who is suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. If successful in shocking the heart, many patients can make a full recovery and return to normal life.

The chance of falling ill again however does increase. If a person has previously suffered from a heart condition that has lead to the use of a defibrillator and they subsequently fall ill again, a defibrillator can be used to try and restore their heart back to it’s natural pace. There is nothing in place that means you cannot use a defibrillator to save a life on multiple separate occasions.

Thankfully, defibrillators have been designed to have lengthy battery lives and can store lots of data. It is always worth doing your own research however, a number of defibrillators on the market including those within in the Phillips range can deliver a minimum of 200 shocks or 4 hours of operating time. In comparison, a defibrillator within the CU Medical range can last for 3 operating hours or 5 cardiac events before needing a new battery.

As cardiac arrests do not always occur frequently, defibrillators can often last years without needing a new battery. This means that they can deliver life saving shocks many times without the need to make any replacements. It is always good practice to check the battery level on your defibrillator for peace of mind.

Overall, defibrillators are live saving medical devices that can be used numerous times to save lives. Without a defibrillator, if somebody suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, their chances of survival with just CPR would be very slim.

Want more information, see our recent article how often should a defibrillator (AED) be checked?

22nd Mar 2021 Christopher Maltby CW

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