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Cardiac Arrest: How you can save someone’s life with a defibrillator *

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How to use a life saving defibrillator

Have you noticed an increase in defibrillators recently whilst out and about?  I’ve only noticed these popping up in places in recent years and didn’t know anything about them before this.  Bella’s school even fundraised for one and it’s now at the school entrance ready for anyone to use in an emergency.  Read on to discover how you can save a person's life by using a defibrillator.

Cardiac Arrest How you can save a life with a defibrillator

What is a defibrillator for?

If someone has a cardiac arrest and a defibrillator is used along with CPR within 3-5 minutes of the cardiac arrest then survival rates are as high as 50-70%.  Having access to defibrillators and knowing how to use them can save someone’s life.  As a whopping 60,000 people in the UK have a cardiac arrest each year (outside of hospitals) it’s something we should all be taught.

Teaching first aid in schools

Wouldn’t it be great if they taught us first aid as part of the curriculum?  I really think they should.  I did a first aid course when Bella was a baby, but I need to brush up on my skills and go for a refresher.  I learnt how to do CPR, but I do wonder if I remember all the details.  The instructor did say ‘you’ll all remember and go into autopilot in an emergency’ but I do worry I’d freeze and forget in a panic.  Let’s hope I’m never faced with such a situation.

Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack?

Do you know the difference between a cardiac arrest and heart attack?  I’ll admit, I just had to Google it as I thought they were the same or at least I knew they were similar and both to do with the heart.  A heart attack is when the blood flow to the heart is blocked.  A cardiac arrest is when the heart suddenly decides to stop beating.

What to do if someone suffers a cardiac arrest

This infographic ‘The Shocking Truth Behind Cardiac Arrest’ from Kay’s Medical explains what to do if someone is suffering a cardiac arrest.  The most important thing to note is a defibrillator will NOT hurt someone if they are not having a cardiac arrest.  It will not shock them as it measures the heart’s rhythm.  So do not hesitate to use one if you think they are, but aren’t 100% sure.  Better to be safe than sorry.

The shocking truth about sudden cardiac arrest and how to use a defribillator

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  1. charlotte clavier

    Interesting blog post. This is certainly something that should be taught are at least a way to access this information readily. Ill be honest i didnt know half of the statistics mentioned here and im sure that the majority of people are the same as me too

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  2. Sheena Batey

    This is such a useful piece of information that might save a life.

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  3. Richard Eldred Hawes

    An important skill to have as speed is essential if you are to be of any help

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  4. Margaret gallagher

    So important to raise awareness Saves so many lives Should be taught in clubs schools

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  5. Fab article. Didn't know this information until now. Definitely think it needs teaching at school x

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  6. A S,Edinburgh

    Great article, thank you. I didn't know that a defibrillator wouldn't harm someone if used inappropriately. In that case they absolutely should be available everywhere. And first aid should be taught as standard. People should have the opportunity to practise these techniques on dummies representing a wide range of body types, too.

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  7. Becky Duffy

    Thankyou so much for raising awareness on Cardiac arrests, I witnessed my mum have one last year and thankfully due to me performing Cpr and the ambulance arriving quickly with a de-fib she is here with us today. So many people cannot tell the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest, I didn't until it happened to us, CPR should definitely be taught in schools!

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