It’s a sad fact that the people you are most likely to need to do CPR on are people you know – work colleagues or loved ones. That’s why it’s so extremely important that there is someone trained to use a defibrillator who can use it with compose and confidence, even during such an horrendous ordeal.
5 short minutes…
That’s all you get until the brain dies due to oxygen depletion in cardiac arrest.  Every minute without oxygen can reduce the patient’s chances of surviving by up to 10%.  Couple this with the fact that less than 20% of people receive bystander CPR before an ambulance arrives, and the chances of surviving a survivable cause cardiac arrest are depressingly slim.
How effective is a defibrillator?
Simply performing effective bystander CPR can improve the chances of a patient surviving by up to 20%.

However, correctly use an on-scene defibrillator as quickly as possible, and the survival rates can reach as high as 80%.
How does a de-fib actually work?
Whilst effective CPR by itself can greatly increase the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest, the use of a de-fib (defibrillator) can be the key to actually surviving.  For one of many reasons, from a heart attack to a genetic defect, the electrical signals that control the heart can begin to misfire. Ordinarily, these electrical signals act in a coordinated fashion to cause the heart to pump correctly.
When these electrical signals misfire, the hearts ability to pump is compromised.  A compromised pump results in an inability to deliver oxygenated blood around the body, which quickly results in brain death.
CPR acts to manually replace the pumping mechanism of the heart by compressing the chest and forcing the blood around the body.  However, throughout this process the electrical signal continues to misfire.
A De-Fib delivers an electrical shock to the heart, which halts the misfiring signals.  The heart will then hopefully restart with the correct rhythm.
To work though, the shock must be delivered as quickly as possible after the onset of cardiac arrest.  Additionally, effective CPR is required to keep the heart as oxygenated as possible throughout in order that damage is limited.  A damaged heart is far harder to restart correctly than a healthy heart.
Take a look at our defib course page to learn life saving skills today! –