AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. An AED is commonly found in places where large numbers of people gather, and it is designed to be used in case of a sudden cardiac arrest, a life-threatening event when someone’s heart stops beating. In this article, we call it a defibrillator because of its leading function. We will look at what a defibrillator is, explain the urgency in taking action when it is used and tell you about the facts about defibrillator use in Australia.
Defibrillator Requirements within Australia: Quick Fact List
What is a defibrillator?
A defibrillator is a portable electronic device that can stop extremely fast and erratic heart rhythms, known as arrhythmia. It is used to treat patients who have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
How is it used?
Defibrillators use pads placed on the patient’s chest to send a low-voltage electric shock to the heart. This sends an electric current to restore a normal rhythm to the heart. All public places with large numbers of people are required to have defibrillation devices.
Where to Put a Defibrillator
The Resuscitation Council (RC) of Australia and New Zealand recommend putting the defibrillator in areas that are easily accessible, such as lobbies or reception areas. A defibrillator is a room or area where the activity is not going on is less likely to be used in an emergency. More often than not, a defibrillator’s power will run out, and the only option is to replace it, resulting in a delay in treatment.
How to Look After a Defibrillator
When you finally get your defibrillator, you will have to look after the device in order to use it in an emergency. As a note, you should never try to repair or service the defibrillator yourself. In order to ensure the defibrillator is ready to use in an emergency, you should do a test once a month. This means charging the unit fully and testing if the pad connection works. If the defibrillator is kept in a hot area, it should be kept near a window with the window open. If there are no windows, it should be kept in an air-conditioned room. If the defibrillator is placed in a place where it will be exposed to a lot of dust and dirt, you’re sure to need a replacement. Lastly, you should never leave the defibrillator unattended, as it can be easily stolen.
Cardiac Arrest Facts
The heart normally beats an average of 70 times per minute and 100,000 times a day. Sometimes, however, when heart cells start to die, the heart rate gets too fast and starts pumping poorly, putting the patient at risk of a heart attack.
Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart doesn’t contract normally, causing blood circulation to stop. This is more common in people older than 65. Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of their health condition.
If untreated, a person who has suffered a cardiac arrest has a death rate of up to 90 per cent. This is because there is very little time to save a person whose heart has stopped beating. Cardiac arrest can be treated with an electric shock or defibrillation that resets the heart back to a normal rhythm.
So, you’ve read about the importance of defibrillators in workplaces and public places. You are now aware of what a defibrillator is, how it is used and where to put it. You even have tips on how to look after your defibrillator. With these tips, you can be sure that your defibrillator will be ready to use in an emergency, and your workplace and public place will also be ready to respond appropriately to a sudden cardiac arrest emergency.
Ready to purchase a defibrillator in Australia? Our qualified customer service staff at Restart the Heart can assist you in choosing the right defibrillators for your workplace or public area. Contact us today!