Facts and Queries

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Do I Need To Start CPR When Someone Has A Sudden Cardiac Arrest ?

Yes. CPR is vital to keep someone alive whilst you are waiting for a defibrillator or for medical / emergency assistance.In the case of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR should be commenced immediately. A defibrillator can be connected to the patient whilst someone is conducting CPR. Ensure you are clear of the patient when it delivers a shock

Why is Time important when someone has a cardiac Arrest?

Time is important as the survival rate drops by around 10% per minute to the point where after 10 minutes, the survival rate is less than 10%. As defibrillation is the only way to re-start the heart, access to one as quickly as possible is vitally important.

Do I need Training to use a Defibrillator?

No. You do not need any training to use a defibrillator. A defibrillator will instruct you clearly on how to attach the electrode pads. It then assesses the heart rhythm of the patient and will only instruct you to deliver a shock if it is needed. You cannot deliver a shock accidentally.

Can I use a Defibrillator on someone with a Pacemaker?

Yes. However it is recommended that the defibrillator pad is not placed over the pacemaker

Do you need to dry the patient's chest?

Yes. It is important to ensure that the defibrillator pads have good contact with the skin. If they are placed on wet skin they won't stick and may not function correctly. If possible, dry the skin quickly with a towel or clothing.

Will you hurt someone if they are not having a Cardiac Arrest?

No,  When a defibrillator is attached to a patient it analyzes the heartbeat and determines if a shock is required. The defibrillator will not deliver a shock if it is not required. Connecting a defibrillator to a patient who has a suspected Sudden Cardiac Arrest or who has collapsed and lost a pulse, will not cause any harm and is in fact considered good practise.

When do I need to start CPR?

In the case of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR should be commenced immediately. A defibrillator can be connected to the patient whilst someone is conducting CPR. Ensure you are clear of the patient when it delivers a shock.

How do I have to Maintain my Defibrillator?

IT is good practise to check that your defibrillator is in working order - all defibrillators need maintenance at some point.Batteries and pads have expiry dates and need to be changed to ensure that they are in top working order. 

Do Defibrillators carry a Guarantee?

Yes- the My Heartsafe defibrillators all carry an eight-year guarantee.

How do I know if someone is having a Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest does not show warning symptoms in almost half the cases, but the patient may experience chest pain or light-headedness before the event.. The main symptoms are:

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Collapse/fainting

  • Absence of breathing

  • No pulse

What is Agonal Breathing?

Aganol breathing is an abnormal breathing pattern where the patient has laboured breathing, is gasping for breath or making obstructive noises like snoring.

What should I do if the patient is breathing but unconscious?

If a person is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, they should be placed in the recovery position. Putting someone in the recovery position will keep their airway clear and open. It also ensures that any vomit or fluid won't cause them to choke.

•Stay with person!

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