Defibrillators & Training

What is a Defibrillator?

 

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it’s an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest.

 

Defibrillator’s can also be called a defib, an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) or a PAD (Public Access Defibrillator).

We have Defibrillators at the following sites:

Bellshill.

Cape Road, Warwick.

Immingham.

Irvine – Maxi Head Office.

Warrington.

Livingston – Maxi Construction.

Wedgnock Lane, Warwick.

 

These are available to assist if someone has a cardiac arrest, anyone can use a defib, no training is required, the defib explains what you need to do, step by step – YOU CANNOT SHOCK SOMEONE IF IT IS NOT REQUIRED, the defib makes that decision for you.

 

Training

We recently attended a training session at our Head Office in Irvine to learn more about defibs, CPR, cardiac arrest and heart attack.

It was a revelation.

The training was hosted by Martin Stuart who is a member of ‘Friends of Forth Valley First Responders’ and Tracy Aitchison (John aitchison wife our maxi construction  managing director) who is a Paramedic.

 

Who knew that a Heart Attack is different to a Cardiac Arrest?

A Heart Attack is caused from a blockage in the artery which is supplying blood to the heart: signs are usually chest pain, sometimes neck & jaw pain, arm pain & for some people it may feel like indigestion.

A heart attack may cause a cardiac arrest, but it is not inevitable. But calling 999 to receive immediate help is essential.

If the person having a heart attack is alert & breathing, there is no need for CPR or the use of a Defib.

But if their heart stops beating CPR could save their life.

 

Cardiac Arrest is when the heart stops beating, breathing becomes abnormal or stops completely, death occurs within minutes, so time is of the essence. This is when a Defib can save a life.

We learnt how to perform CPR, it’s hard work, we were timed for 1 minute whilst performing chest compressions, approximately 2 compressions per second, 1 minute is a long time.

CPR is used to manually pump the blood around the body and crucially to the brain when the heart has stopped beating, everyone should learn how to do CPR, it’s a skill that could save a life, it may be a person you don’t know or it could be a family member.

 

The steps you need to take to do CPR 

Before you approach the person who has collapsed, check your surroundings for danger.

  1. Shout for help. 

Shake them gently.

  1. Look and listen for signs of normal breathing.

Look for the rise and fall of their chest.

  1. Call 999.

Put the phone on loudspeaker and tell them you are with someone who is not breathing.

  1. Fetch a defibrillator if you can.

The ambulance call handler will tell you where the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) is. If someone is with you, ask them to fetch it and bring it back. Do not leave the person if you are on your own.

  1. Start chest compressions:

interlock your fingers

place your hands in the centre of the chest

push down hard and then release twice per second, and don’t stop. The ambulance call handler will help you.

  1. If you have a defibrillator, switch it on and follow the instructions.

A defibrillator will tell you exactly what to do.

  1. Continue CPR until: 

The AED asks you to pause while it reanalyses and gives another shock if needed

a paramedic arrives and tells you what to do

the person shows signs of life.

 

By developing the skills and confidence to follow these simple steps, you could be a lifesaver in an emergency.

You can learn CPR for free at www.lifesaver.org.uk