What is a Defibrillator?
A defibrillator is a medical device that delivers a controlled electrical shock to the heart and effectively restarts a normal rhythm. The ones available are automated and give vocal commands including where to place the pads on the persons chest (Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDS). If these devices are placed in a public access location such as telephone kiosks and bus stops they are often termed as Public Access Defibrillators (PADS).
Who Can Use a Defibrillator?
Anyone can use a defibrillator. The devices are exceedingly easy to use and will not deliver an electric current to anyone who has a detectable heartbeat. A user can, therefore do no harm to a person by applying an AED to their chest. No-one will get into any trouble by attaching an AED to someone who has collapsed. CPR is not stopped at any point whilst applying or using a AED.
How to Find a Defibrillator?
If you think you need an AED but are unsure of where one can be found, then by phoning 999 (or 112) you will be put in contact with the ambulance control who will talk you through on where to get an AED. Typically you will be told the location and the code to open the cabinet enabling you to get the AED. The ambulance service will be responsible for returning the AED to the cabinet. In themselves AEDs have no commercial value but do save lives.
How to Learn to Use an AED (PAD)?
The courses available are similar to those providing CPR training.