What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?
An AED (or Automated External Defibrillator) is a life saving device that helps to restore normal rhythm to the heart of a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). We offer a wide selection of defibrillators in our online shop.
What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs without warning. During an electrical malfunction in the heart, blood cannot be pumped around the body, resulting in the brain being starved of oxygen. A chaotic heart rhythm is often called ventricular fibrillation, during which, the victim collapses, loses consciousness, and stops breathing. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time.
How does a Defibrillator work?
if the cardiac rhythm is shockable, the defibrillator administers a therapeutic shock to the heart through electrodes placed on the victim’s chest. This helps to clear the heart of the chaotic activity, allowing the natural pacemakers to start their circuit again. In terms of operation, some defibrillators will charge up and give a shock automatically, whereas others will require the operator to press a ‘shock’ button.
What is a Community Public Accessible Defibrillator (CPAD Site)?
A CPAD site is a Community Public Accessible Defibrillator that can be sited anywhere, within any location and is easily accessible 24 hours a day. All CPAD sites need to be registered with The Circuit, this system links directly to the ambulance service dispatch system. https://www.thecircuit.uk/
Do we need a CPAD site in our community?
The simple answer is yes! A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone of any age at any time. Areas with a higher footfall naturally pose a higher risk, but approximately 75% of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home. If you live in a remote area, or risk a prolonged 999 response time, the availability of a CPAD would help to ensure treatment can be started promptly. Due to the unpredictable nature of sudden cardiac arrest, no community is safe. It is up to us to take action. The earlier the treatment begins, the better the outcome. The first three to four minutes are crucial for the collapsed person, and if CPR can be done, and a defibrillator is available, then there is a greater chance of survival.
Where can a CPAD site be fitted?
The cabinet can be fitted to an external wall of any building, such as a public house, shop, village hall, school, telephone box etc. All that needs to be considered is that it is easily accessible, well illuminated, and has an electrical supply.
If you wish to adopt a telephone box for your village, please contact us.
For more information about defibrillator installation requirements, please contact us using the link below
What is a defibrillator cabinet?
In addition to housing the defibrillator, a defibrillator cabinet allows the machine to be installed outside of a building, increasing its accessibility. This cabinet protects the defibrillator and ensures that it is maintained at the right temperature. A cabinet fitted with a key code locked door, helps to ensure the defibrillator is safe from theft and vandalism. The cabinet will require a mains power supply for the thermostatically controlled heater, that helps to protect the defibrillator from frost and cold, as well as the supply of an internally fitted light.
How does a CPAD site work?
In the event that someone collapses, you will still need to dial 999 for an ambulance. Callers will be directed to their nearest CPAD site, and given the key code to open the cabinet by the ambulance service. It is generally recommended that an AED is accessible within a two-minute brisk walk (four minutes round trip) of where it is required. When this is not possible, placing more than one AED in different parts of the facility is a good idea.
How is the CPAD site deployed?
In an emergency, which means that someone was dispatched to fetch the defibrillator, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was used. It is common for defibrillators to be taken to an emergency, not used, and then returned to the cabinet. The defibrillator may also be taken to the scene and used to save a life while waiting for ambulance services to arrive. Site guardians will receive an email informing them of the deployment and the need for a site check. As soon as this is completed, the site will be live on The Circuit and ready to rescue again. We support all our defibrillator guardians in this process.
Do I need training in the use of a defibrillator?
The UK Resuscitation Council guidelines state that there is no requirement to be trained in the use of an AED, and if a person collapses, the non-trained person should still use the AED. Community defibrillators are easy to use and provide visual and verbal prompts to aid the user. It is important to encourage those interested in learning CPR and AED to take advantage of training programs. AEDdonate offers free online training to communities and individuals who are keen to improve their knowledge of defibrillators and what to do in the event of a SCA. Please click here to view our next training sessions. https://www.aeddonate.org.uk/events/
Is there any risk in the use of an AED?
In order to get access to a defibrillator, the rescuer will have had to answer questions to establish the victim’s condition. Defibrillators are safe to use and will guide you through the process. They are designed to detect specific electrical activity and will only shock as and when needed. We discuss the safety consideration in our free online training. Click here to book on a session.
Can any liability issue arise from using a defibrillator?
The absence of ‘Good Samaritan’ legislation in the UK raises concerns about the legal status of people who attempt to resuscitate others. Can a potential rescuer be sued if they try to resuscitate a collapsed individual. The likelihood of suing a potential rescuer is extremely low. It would be necessary to prove, in English Law, that the intervention had worsened the victim’s situation than if the intervention had not taken place. Taking someone to court for providing first aid has never been
successful in the UK, where courts tend to look favourably at those who help others. There is detailed legal advice on this subject on the Resuscitation Council (UK) website: www.resus.org.uk/cpr/legal-status-of-those-attempting-cpr
Are there any on-going costs?
Running costs will vary depending on the make and model of your defibrillator. If unused, AED pads generally expire after 24-48 months, and most AEDs require battery replacements after 4 years. As the purchaser/fundraiser, you are responsible for the ongoing cost, maintenance, and replacement of equipment (battery, pads, and other consumables) unless the Ambulance Service supplied and retains ownership of the CPAD site equipment. If the ambulance service supplied and retains ownership of the CPAD site, you will still be responsible for the maintenance of the site, which will include the custodian role as detailed below.
Who looks after the CPAD site?
We would recommend that you appoint a ‘guardian’ or custodian for your CPAD site. In accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, the guardian is responsible for ensuring the AED is checked weekly/monthly/yearly. During the checks, batteries, electrode pads, and other consumable items (razor, pocket mask, scissors, disposable gloves, etc.) may need to be replaced, as well as cleaning of the AED to remove a build-up of dust/dirt.
Most AEDs undertake a self-analysis on a regular basis, and if a problem is detected, it will be indicated by a warning sign – a flashing light on the front of the machine or by a beeping sound. Our recommendation is that you have a procedure for regularly checking your CPAD site. The custodian will also be responsible for keeping the cabinet clean, checking the thermostatically controlled heater is working correctly and that the key code lock is in operational order. We would advise that the custodian use our checklist to ensure the readiness of the CPAD site. If the AED is deployed, the custodian will also be responsible for ensuring that the AED is returned to operational status as soon as possible. Please get in touch with a member of the AEDdonate team who will assist you with this process. Our out-of-hours contact number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.