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6 FAQs On Emergency Defibrillators

Published on 29th January 2017

Whatever kind of business you run, it’s highly likely that you could benefit from investing in emergency defibrillators so that you always have one on site and close to hand to use if someone does go into sudden cardiac arrest. If you’re considering making such an investment, here are some FAQs that you may need answering first.

What is a defibrillator?

A heart attack takes place because the heart’s normal electrical rhythm is replaced by ventricular fibrillation, a more disorganised electrical rhythm. The defibrillator is a device that sends a high energy electric shock to the patient to restore the natural rhythm of the heart. The devices are portable, compact and easy to use, with prompts and commands guiding you through the process of using one.

Are they safe to use?

Modern devices are highly reliable and safe to use since they won’t send out a shock unless it’s needed. It’s unlikely that any harm will be done to someone who has suffered a suspected cardiac arrest – and they don’t pose risks to the user either. Members of the public can, therefore, feel comfortable using them with little training.

Do you need training to use one?

Because the devices do give prompts and instructions, it is possible for people with no training to administer lifesaving CPR using one and if you do find yourself in an emergency situation, don’t shy away from using the defibrillator just because you haven’t been trained to do so. However, you’re likely to feel more confident and happier in your ability if you do go on a first aid course and learn how to use one properly.

Can you use a defibrillator on a child?

It’s rare that you will need to use one of these devices on a child and you should always prioritise high-quality CPR first, but if this is the only machine available then an automated external defibrillator can be used. If using one on someone younger than eight years old, use paediatric pads or reduced shock energy if at all possible. This will restrict the shock energy to about 50 joules.

Can you use them on pregnant women?

Yes, although note that cardiac arrest is rare in pregnant women. It is safe to use them in this instance, but make sure the pads are placed clear of the breast area if this is enlarged due to pregnancy.

Should we have one at work?

Some businesses are more likely to require a defibrillator than others, such as a pub in a little village where older people are more likely congregate or construction sites that are full of hazards, but in reality, all companies could benefit from having one installed since everyone is at risk of cardiac arrest. If you’d like to find out more about these devices, get in touch with us at Martek Lifecare today. You can also find further reading on the Resuscitation Council website.