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 and how to use.
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. Defibrillators can mean the difference between life and death so they're very important. So how much does a defibrillator cost? They are over £1000 which is why you'll notice some schools and other community locations trying to raise money to fund them.
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.
How to use a life saving defibrillator