What are the chances of survival when using a defibrillator?

What are the chances of survival when using a defibrillator?

A defibrillator greatly increases the chances of survival when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest. When these occur, the victim will suddenly collapse, loose consciousness and will not be breathing. Sudden cardiac arrests occur when there is an electrical problem with the heart, this prevents blood pumping around the body. They are mostly unpredictable as they can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender or sex.

If a defibrillator is not used when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest, unfortunately, the victim will likely die. Cardiac arrests are one of the leading causes of death in the UK. They account for roughly 100,000 deaths every year so, if you are with someone who suddenly falls ill with cardiac arrest symptoms, you should begin giving CPR straight away as well as calling an ambulance.

CPR and a defibrillator should both be used when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest. CPR ensures oxygenated blood can still be pumped around the body. Without a defibrillator however, CPR alone is not enough. Defibrillators make a huge difference when it comes to a sudden cardiac arrest episode. Cleverly scanning the heart, defibrillators can determine whether a shock is needed to correct the heart to it’s regular rhythm. If a patient does need a shock, the defibrillator will either do so itself or alert you to press a button which will then administer the shock.

If used within the first minute of a cardiac arrest occurring, the survival rate for victims can be as high as 90%. For every minute that defibrillation is delayed however, the chance of survival decreases to 10%. If delayed for longer than ten minutes, the chance of survival for an adult suffering a cardiac arrest is unfortunately lower than 5%.

These startling figures show just how important a defibrillator is when it comes to saving lives. Looking at your surroundings and taking not of where your nearest defibrillator is installed could make the difference between life and death. You can find defibrillators in a range of public places across the country including local towns and villages, sports centres and shops. You should also check if your work has a defibrillator but, don’t worry if not. There is funding that you are able to apply for to help raise money to invest in a defibrillator.

It is of course understandable to be concerned about using a defibrillator and if you are going to be using it correctly but don’t worry, defibrillators are designed to be used by anyone. This means those who are medically trained and those who have no experience at all can use a defibrillator. They come with a step by step guide on the steps to follow as well as many defibrillators also having audio and visual prompts for further assistance.

Defibrillators are so important for sudden cardiac arrest victims, their families and friends. You never know, one day it could be you. As they are so essential when it comes to saving lives, the more defibrillators that are installed across the country means the more opportunities for lives to be saved. You can check a government database for the location of all public access defibrillators if you’d like to check how many are close to you and where they are located.

19th Dec 2021 Christopher Maltby CW

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