What is a defibrillator and when is it used?

What is a defibrillator and when is it used?

Defibrillators can be life-saving when cardiac arrests occur. You’ll find out when to use defibrillators from this post.
Defibrillator Basics

The British Heart Foundation states that cardiac arrests happen when the heart’s electrical structure fails to work correctly. This leads to atypical heart rhythm, known as arrhythmia. Atypical heart rhythms aren’t necessarily lethal, but in some cases can prevent the heart from delivering blood efficiently.

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A defibrillator delivers an electrical current to interrupt a heart’s anomalous beat so that it can return to a regular rhythm. You don’t need training to use defibrillators as they have clear instructions to help you use one.

Emergency First Aid Training Courses, like the examples seen at https://www.tidaltraining.co.uk/emergency-first-aid-training-courses, cover identifying cardiac arrest symptoms and using defibrillators correctly. These courses give healthcare providers the confidence to act in emergencies.

Using Defibrillators

If someone experiences a cardiac arrest, call the emergency services and begin CPR. Do not pause CPR to locate a defibrillator. If you can, have another person locate one.

1. Turn on the defibrillator by pushing the green switch. Follow any instructions displayed.

2. Take off the patient’s clothing from the waist upwards. You may need to use scissors to do this.

3. Remove the sticky pads and stick them on each side of their chest, as the defibrillator’s diagram shows.

4. Pause CPR and don’t touch the patient. The device will alert you to push the ‘shock’ switch if a shock is necessary.

5. The defibrillator will tell you to stop, so it can reexamine the patient’s heartbeat, or if you should persist with CPR.

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More public spaces are carrying defibrillators so people can take action when cardiac emergencies occur. When used promptly, a defibrillator can make the difference between life and death.

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