Frequently asked questions
What is a defibrillator and what is its purpose?
A defibrillator is an electrical device that provides a controlled electrical shock to the heart when there is a life-threatening arrhythmia present, or when a patient has experienced a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
What are the chances of survival?
If used within the first minute of collapse, the chances of survival are up to 90%. For every minute lost where defibrillation is not applied, statistically the survival rate decreases by 10% per minute.
Can a defibrillator start a heart?
Defibrillators cannot start a stopped heart. They work by re-starting a heart that's pumping irregularly to reset the heart to its correct rhythm.
Do you need training to use a defibrillator, and are they safe?
AED’s are completely safe, and no training is required. The user is guided by clear voice and visual prompts step-by-step through the defibrillation process. The AED will not deliver a shock if it detects a normal heart rhythm. The AED will assess the patient’s heartbeat and deliver a shock if the heart is not beating regularly.
What if I attached the AED to a unconscious or conscious person? Can I harm them?
If there is normal heart rhythm, an AED will not deliver a shock. The AED will assess the patient’s heartbeat and deliver a shock if the heart is not beating regularly.
As an example, if the patient’s heart is beating, but the patient is not breathing, the AED will assess whether a shock is required and advise the user in both cases.
An audible promote will alert the user whether a shock is not required, or whether it is required. If required, follow the voice and visual prompts.
When do I use a defibrillator, and can it be re-used after use?
A patient who is not breathing, not breathing normally, and is in need of CPR is when a defibrillator should be used.
Once used, replacement electrodes (PADS) can be purchased as a consumable.
Should I have a defibrillator at home, and can anyone buy a defibrillator?
Defibrillators are designed for anyone to use, and the barrier of entry has become lower, making it affordable to own one at home. Various models are now available including lightweight, portable devices that can be stored in a sports bag.
Should I have a defibrillator in my workplace or sports club?
It is recommended that any workplace or sports club has ease of access to a defibrillator as it increases the charges of survival significantly. There are many recent good news stories where a defibrillator in the workplace or in the sports club has saved a life. We believe it should form part of your First Aid Kit.
Organisations such as Australian Hearts are lobbying for defibrillators to be mandatory in the workplace.
What if the victim is wet or lying on a wet surface?
Defibrillators are most safely used on a dry surface. It is recommended to dry the chest before applying the pads, and moving the patient away from a wet area before using the defibrillator.
Can I use them on children?
Defibrillators can be used on children under eight years of age using child electrodes.
Adult electrode pads can be used on children greater than 8 years of age.
What if the victim has a pacemaker?
A defibrillator can be used on a patient with a pacemaker; however it is recommended that the defibrillator pads are not placed directly over the pacemaker.
Are there any legal issues in using a defibrillator?
‘Good Samaritan’ legislation in Australia protects volunteers and lay people who provide assistance to those in need. A topic raised often is the legal liability for those who attempt to resuscitate someone.
An individual providing First Aid to a patient is expected to display a standard of care appropriate to their training, or lack of training.
In Australia, for someone to be held liable for negligence it would have to be shown that their intervention had left the patient in a worse situation than if there was no intervention.
Each state has ‘Good Samaritan’ type legislation:
- Civil Laws (Wrongs) Act 2002 (ACT) s 5;
- Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) s 57;
- Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act (NT) s 8;
- Law Reform Act 1995 (Qld) s 16 and Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) s 26;
- Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA) s 74;
- Civil Liability Act 2002 (Tas) s 35B;
- Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) s 31B;
- Civil Liability Act 2002 (WA) s 5AD.
More information is available at ‘The Australian Resuscitation Council’.
What does the IP rating mean?
The IP Code, International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. It is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
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Our goal is to contribute in educating everyday Australians of the benefits of using a defibrillator. To inform Australians that defibrillators can be used by anyone and the device will assess and only shock a patient if necessary.
The more defibrillators in the home or workplace the better, as a result we have adopted an everyday low price mentality to make the barrier to entry affordable to anyone.
Learn more about us HERE
What is the difference between a "Semi-Automatic" and Fully-Automatic"?
A Fully-Automatic AED will automatically deliver a shock to the patient after it performs an assessment on the patient. It will alert the user to stand clear prior to a shock being delivered. It will continually assess the patient, and apply additional shocks if necessary.