What is a defibrillator?

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This is a defibrillator

it can save someone's life

but only if you use it.

A defibrillator is an easy-to-use device

you don't need any training to use it

because it will tell you exactly what to do.

'shock advised'

Its job is to shock someone's heart

back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest.


it will only instruct you to deliver a shock

if this is needed.

If you find someone unconscious

unresponsive and not breathing

or not breathing normally

they're in cardiac arrest.

It's important to act immediately

because their heart is no longer pumping blood

to their brain and around the body.

The first thing to do is call 999

and start CPR

the emergency operator will talk you through what to do

and tell you where the nearest defibrillator can be found.

If there's someone else around

ask them to go and get it.

Defibrillators are normally located in workplaces

and public spaces like airports

shopping centres

community centres and train stations.

They may be labeled PAD (public access defibrillator)

or AED (automated external defibrillator)

and anyone can use them in an emergency.

The defibrillator will assess a heart rhythm

and will only tell you to shock them if they need it

'shock advised'

So you can't do any harm by using one.

If a shock is needed

this will try and reset the electrical system in the heart

to get it beating normally again.

When used with CPR

defibrillators give the best chance of survival

When you witness someone in cardiac arrest

take action

start CPR

and find a defibrillator as soon as possible.

For more information on defibrillators

visit bhf.org.uk/defibs