A must have addition to First Aid kits for all responsible organisations and venues.
10 Minutes to save a life – that is how long you have when someone suffers a cardiac arrest (heart attack).
When seconds count, a defibrillator is the best lifesaving device for people in cardiac arrest. Used swiftly, defibrillators have been shown to dramatically increase the survival rate of people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.
What does a defibrillator do?
It provides a strong electrical shock to the heart to reinstate a normal heartbeat.
The opportunity for crucial, early defibrillation has increased with improvement and availability of automated external defibrillators (AED). The operation of an AED device is simple and straightforward, however you must follow the steps explicitly to ensure the victim's best chance of survival.
An AED will automatically determine the heart rhythm of a pulseless victim and, if the victim is in ventricular fibrillation (v-fib), shock the victim's heart in an attempt to restore its rhythm to normal.
When a heart is in v-fib, it is still receiving nerve impulses from the brain. These impulses fire so chaoticaly that the heart cannot produce a beat and is therefore unable to pump suffiicent blood to keep the circulatory system and oxygen flowing through the body. After 4-6 minutes without oxygen, brain cells begin to die.The chaotic spasms of the heart continue until it ether no longer receives electrical impulses from the brain and then stops all together or until the heart is shocked back into a normal rhythm.
An AED stops the heart’s chaotic spasms by shocking it. This allows the nerve impulses an oportunity to resume their normal pattern and then the heart to resume beating at its normal pace.
Automated External Defibrilators are straightforward and easy to use. Time is the most important factor in a cardiac emergency, it is therefore important to understand how to use an AED.
What to do if someone around you has a heart attack (cardiac arrest)?
Step 1. - Dial 999. If you see someone collapse, immediately call the emergency services and ask for the assistance of the paramedics. If there are other people around, choose someone specific and instruct him or her to call 999 and explain the situation. This decreases confusion about who should do what and ensures that the call is being placed.
Even with the help of an AED, the victim needs assistance from medical professionals as soon as possible.
Step 2. - Check the victim's respirations and airway. If someone has collapsed, you should immediately ascertain if he or she is breathing. If the victim is breathing, you know they have a pulse.
If they are not breathing:
Step 3. - Remove the victim's top/shirt and any jewelry or accessories so you can place the AED electrode pads directly on the chest. If possible, have someone else begin CPR while you grab and set up the AED. If you are alone with the victim, find the AED as fast as possible. Open the AED. Most AED devices turn on immediately once you open them, but some have an ON button that is easily identified.
Step 4. - Place the electrode pads exactly as they are shown on the AED diagram. Place one pad on the upper right part of the victim's chest, and the other on the lower left side of the chest. The pads should be diagonal from each other.
Step 5. - Plug the electrodes into the AED connecter. Wait a few seconds for the AED to determine whether a shock is needed, based on the victim's heartbeat.
If or when the AED decides a shock is necessary, a clear voice will say so and you should then press the shock button as with the semi-automatic Heartstart HS1 Defibrillator, or it will inform you it is about to automatically shock the patient as with the The Powerheart G3 Plus.
|Heartstart HS1 Defibrillator|
|Powerheart G3 Plus|
After the shock, the AED will again evaluate the victim's heartbeat. It may tell you that no further shock is needed, or if another shock is required, the AED either will tell you to press the shock button again, or automatically administer it on its own.
If the victim's heart begins to beat again but he cannot breathe, do not use the AED device again. Instead, begin CPR. If he still has no pulse, continue to use the AED until paramedics arrive.
The defibrillators available from WorkwearHouse are approved and used by St John Ambulance. They are suitable for the workplace, sporting and entertainment venues, schools, hotels, retail and public spaces and places of worship. Easy to use with natural voice instructions to coach the emergency aid provider through the steps of first aid defibrillation and CPR they are suitable for use by the layperson as well as trained emergency personnel.
Things to look out for.
- Using an automated external defibrillator, AED, is very simple. However the situation requiring the need for the device to be used may cause hysteria or panic. It is important you remain calm and listen to the instructions and alerts given by the AED.
- We highly recommend attending an accredited training course on the proper use of AED and CPR.
- Buy your defibrillator from WorkwearHouse and we will provide you with a place on a St John Ambulance Training Course Free of charge.
- Make certain the electrode pads are placed as shown on their packaging. Should they accidently be placed in the reverse positions the AED will not benefit the victim.
|First Aid Kits|
Disclaimer:- This blog article is published for general interest only. It should not be used in place of formal life saving instructions. We recommend everyone to attend a first aid training and CPR course run by an accredited organisation, such as the nation's leading first aid training provider, the St John Ambulance.