Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs
Q1. What is an Automated External Defibrillator or AED?
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life threatening Sudden Cardiac Arrest and is able to treat the patient through defibrillation. The treatment involves applying an electrical therapy to stop the arrhythmia allowing the heart to establish a normal rhythm. An AED is a device which saves lives.
Q2. How does an AED work?
The operator will connect the defibrillator to the patient’s chest via adhesive pads (electrodes). It will then analyse the patient to see if they have suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest and advise whether an electric shock is needed. AEDs only advise that a shock should be delivered if ventricular fibrillation or fast ventricular tachycardia are diagnosed.
Q3. Why are AEDs Essential?
They Save Lives! They are the only way of delivering defibrillation to people who have suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Q4. Who can operate an AED?
Almost Anyone. They are designed to be used with minimal training. They are designed to deliver clear instructions to the operator in an emergency situation and only deliver an electric shock if required.
Q5. Is calling Triple Zero (000) enough?
In many cases it can take the ambulance at least 10 minutes to arrive which will be too late for the patient to survive. Survival rates are best for people who are treated within 3 minutes of collapse. An AED therefore needs to be within easy range of the sufferer.
Q6. Should I do CPR before the AED arrives?
Yes. CPR provides some circulation of blood to the patient’s brain and heart which will delay brain death and death of the heart muscle. It buys some time before the AED arrives.
Q7. Where can I buy an AED or obtain more advice?
Contact Graeme Lake on 1300 266 311 or see our Contact Us page.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Q1. What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest means that the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. This is usually caused by abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is highly likely to cause death if not treated immediately.
Q2. Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest the same thing as a Heart Attack?
No. With a heart attack, the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked. Heart attacks can lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. However Sudden Cardiac Arrest may occur independently of a heart attack and without warning signs.
Q3. What are the symptoms of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Loss of Consciousness, Abnormal Breathing, Loss of Pulse and Blood Pressure.
Q4. How is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treated?
The only effective way of treating a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is through an electric shock delivered by an AED device.
CPR and Defibrillation in Action
Short Video shows a Life being Saved through the Use of a Defibrillator (AED) and CPR techniques.