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What are the chances of survival when using a defibrillator?

What are the chances of survival when using a defibrillator?

The chances of survival greatly increase when using a defibrillator. When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), they suddenly collapse, lose consciousness and will not be breathing. This is because there is an electrical problem with the heart which prevents it from pumping blood around the body. SCA’s are often unpredictable as they can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender or sex.

Without immediate intervention when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest, the person will likely die. Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the UK with it accounting for around 100,000 deaths every year. If you are with someone who suddenly falls ill with the symptoms listed, you should start giving CPR straight away as well as calling an ambulance.

CPR will ensure the person’s heart can continue pumping blood around the body however, a defibrillator is needed to save their life. Defibrillators make a huge difference when it comes to a SCA episode. They cleverly scan the hearts rhythm to determine whether a shock is needed and if so, deliver the appropriate level of shock in order to correct the hearts irregular beating.

Survival rates greatly increase for cardiac arrest sufferers when a defibrillator is used. If used within the first minute of collapse, the survival rate can be as high as 90% however, for every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10%. If delayed for more than ten minutes, unfortunately the chances of survival in adults is lower than 5%.

This shows just how important a defibrillator is when it comes to saving the life of a SCA sufferer. It’s a good idea to take a look at your surroundings and take note of where your nearest defibrillator is installed. They can be found in many public places across the country such as in local towns and villages, sports centres and shops. It’s also important to check if your work has a defibrillator. But, don’t worry if not, you can apply for funding in order 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 sa step by step guide on the steps to follow as well as many defibrillators also having audio and visual prompts for further assistance.

Making the difference between life and death, defibrillators are so important for SCA victims. With this, the more defibrillators that are installed across the country, 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.

9th Nov 2020 Christopher Maltby CW

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