Defibrillator FAQ

First Aid Accident & Emergency are a 100% Australian owned and operated Defibrillator bundle specialist

DO YOU HAVE A DEFIBRILLATOR OR THINKING OF PURCHASING ONE?

As the trusted Defibrillator supplier to the GC Commonwealth Games and over a 1000 workplaces in Australia, we have put together all the information you require to become HEART SAFE. This information is designed to help you manage your device, implement training and develop procedures for the most vital piece of equipment to save a life in your organisation.

Trusted Experts

Here to help

Have a read through our most common questions about Defibrillators and all the information we have provided for you.

Our team are specialists when it comes to defibrillators, how to use them and what is required for your organisation.

If you don’t see your defibrillator query answered below, be sure to call one of the FAAE team today 07 55205068 —we’ll be happy to help with any of your defibrillator questions.

FORWARD HEARTS

Paying it forward

First Aid Accident & Emergency are a 100% Queensland, family-owned and operated Defibrillator, First Aid Kit and First Aid Training specialist. We are proud to be partnering with the Civil Contractors Federation of Queensland to offer members access to discounted Defibrillators with a goal to improve Sudden Cardiac Arrest survivability outcomes in the industry.

We are a registered training organisation (RTO 32508) with over 17 years experience teaching students life saving skills in First Aid and CPR. As a premium platinum partner of Stryker Australia and one of Australia’s most experienced and trusted Defibrillator suppliers, we have partnered nationally with a number of organisations including parkrun Australia, Fitstop and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. We have supplied thousands of AEDs to customers and have carefully designed our defibrillator products and education tools with your industry in mind.

For more information and to discuss how FAAE can help your organisation, contact the FAAE team at [email protected] or 07 5520 5068.

Everything you need to know about

Defibrillators

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the abrupt stop of heart function. When a patient experiences SCA, they will also lose consciousness and stop breathing. SCA is usually the result of an electrical disturbance in the heart, which is not the same as a heart attack.

A defibrillator is a fault finding device and will not shock a patient unless their heart requires a shock. The way a defibrillator has been designed makes it fool proof. It analyses the heart of the patient to identify if the heart is fibrillating in an abnormal rhythm, and will only shock if the heart is fibrillating.

If the defibrillator can’t find a fibrillating heart rhythm, then it will not shock the patient. Making defibrillators 100% safe for anyone to use.

First responders using a Defibrillator in ‘good faith’ have no liability issues and cannot be sued in Australia.

Defibrillators are designed to administer a shock to a patient – only if they need it.

Defibrillator shock settings cannot be changed, so a shock cannot be given to a patient even if mistakes are made by first responders. There is no liability on the First Aid responder if the casualty does not survive.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) will not ‘shock’ someone if they do not need it, so the AED cannot cause more injury to the casualty.

Organisations installing a AED do not need to worry about a Defibrillator accidentally shocking someone or hurting a patient as they have been designed for public use by everyday people.

When a Defibrillator is used in an emergency ‘The Good Samaritan Act’ is applicable. The act acknowledges First responders acting in good faith at their own level of training – even if not trained, the act recognises the stress and having to respond quickly to help someone!

The Good Samaritan Act

A Good Samaritan is defined as ‘as a person acting without expecting financial or other reward for providing assistance. Although jurisdictional differences exist, Volunteers are generally defined as a member of a Volunteer organisation performing voluntary community work.’

Protection of good Samaritans in Australia is provided through the following State and Territory Acts:

  • New South Wales – Civil Liability Act 2002
  • Victoria – Wrongs Act 1958
  • Queensland – Law Reform Act 1995 (Qld) s 16 and Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) s 26
  • Western Australia – Civil Liability Act 2002
  • South Australia – Good Samaritans (Limitation of Liability) Bill 2002
  • Tasmania – Civil Liability Act 2002
  • Australian Capital Territory – Civil Law (Wrongs) Bill 2002
  • Northern Territory – Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act
  • The Australian Resuscitation Council through its ANZCOR Guideline 10.5 details information on Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Resuscitation.

We are asked on a regular basis, when is the right time to use a defibrillator on a patient?

If a person goes into cardiac arrest, then the heart stops functioning effectively, this causes the patient to loose blood pressure and have no blood circulation – Brain and heart damage occurs in a matter of minutes.

At this stage the patient will be unresponsive and not breathing effectively – best to check first though as we don’t want to start CPR if the patient is breathing.

DO NOT PUT A DEFIBRILLATOR ON FIRST

The patient needs CPR, this will circulate blood through the body and help to prevent tissue death in the heart and brain-“Time is Heart and Brain”- Scott Whimpey – Director FAAE.

Once CPR has been started, now is the time to apply the Defibrillator, making sure that CPR continues while the pads are applied to the patient. Much like a pool pump loosing function, we need to prime the pump first before we start it up.

Studies show that the more we stop CPR in the first 10 minutes, the more brain and heart damage occurs, we need to minimise interruptions to compressions in the initial stages of a resuscitation.

Defibrillators are very easy to use.

Once you switch the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on, it will tell you exactly what to do via verbal and visual prompts.

This will usually begin with the defibrillator prompting you to call for help and expose the patients chest. It will then instruct you to apply the adhesive pads to the chest of the patient. You’ll then be prompted to ‘not touch the patient’ as the AED is analysing the heart rhythm of the patient and may deliver a shock.

Once this has happened, the AED will instruct you to perform CPR. Our defibrillators will guide you through this stage of the resuscitation to help ensure you are performing the CPR correctly and at the right pace.

The terms semi-automatic and fully automatic used in reference to public access defibrillators, refer to the method of shock delivery. Our defibrillators verbally (and visually) communicate step-by-step instructions on how to use the device and will automatically analyse the heart rhythm to determine if a shock is needed.

If the defibrillator has determined that a shock is needed, the semi-automatic device will prompt the rescuer to press the shock button. A fully automatic defibrillator is designed to give a shock automatically, if needed, without the rescuer having to push a button to deliver that shock. Both types of devices will let the rescuer know when the patient is about to be shocked and ask them to stand clear. It’s important to note that the rescuer can’t shock the patient unless the device has analysed the patient, determined that a shock is needed and asked the rescuer to push the button ultimately making them safe to use.

There are many different defibrillator manufacturers and there may be a slight variation between the different features, so it is important to select a defibrillator that is right for your particular circumstances. Here at FAAE, we stock HeartSine and LifePak Defibrillators in both semi-automatic and fully automatic options. Give our team of experts a call on 07 5520 5068 if you’d like to know more.

Chain of survival
The Chain of Survival is recognised by the Australian Resuscitation Council as the most important steps in a resuscitation to increase the chance of survival from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). These steps are simple and should be implemented for a patient that is not responsive and not breathing.

1- Call for help- Call 000 as soon as possible

2- Start CPR- this will help to push blood to the brain and prevent brain damage

3- Apply the Defibrillator and follow the prompts

FAAE encourages your organisation to display these steps next to your Defibrillator to prompt rescuers to respond in an effective manner.

A Defibrillator fault finds the heart of the patient to identify if the heart is fibrillating in an abnormal rhythm.

If the defibrillator finds the heart fibrillating in either Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) or Ventricular Fibrillation (VF), it will trigger a program in the Defibrillator and prompt a shock to be delivered through the patients heart. This shock is delivered in a special way that’s called Bi-Phasic. This means 2 smaller shocks that are milliseconds apart – the first shock is designed to de-sensitise the heart and stop the fibrillation and the second shock is designed to re-trigger the heart in a normal beating – pumping rhythm.

The energy of the shock that comes from the defibrillator also varies. This is called escalating energy.  The first shock from a defibrillator is small for smaller patients, the second shock is larger and the third is usually maximum output of the device – somewhere between 200j to 360j of energy.

AED sign

What does AED mean?

This is a term or acronym to abbreviate the Defibrillator.

Automated – This means Automatic, an AED will do its job automatically. Unlike a manual defibrillator that requires the operator to know heart rhythms. A hospital would use a manual device on a patient to analyse the heart rhythm to look at the ECG.

External – This means used externally from the patient.

Defibrillator – Means to de-fibrillate the heart and restore normal heart function.

FAAE recommends that this sign is displayed in your organisation to let everyone know that you have a defibrillator and where its stored.

The cost of a defibrillator will depend on the make and model. Here at First Aid Accident & Emergency, the defibrillators and defibrillator bundle packs we stock vary in price. Our defibrillator bundles and packs are available in our online shop and prices start from as little as $1449.

Yes, defibrillators are available for purchase for personal use. At FAAE, we stock a range of defibrillators and defibrillator packs which are perfect to keep at home, work or to carry with you in your vehicle, caravan or boat.

Modern defibrillators have been specifically designed so that they will work without the need for a heavy maintenance schedule. Our AED’s will conduct internal self-checks regularly (usually daily, weekly or monthly) and alert you via a beeping sound if something needs attention. We also recommended that you inspect your defibrillator on a monthly basis, all our AED’s come with this checklist. The monthly check includes checking the expiry on the battery and pads, signage and having a suitable AED preparation pack for the patient.

This will depend on the defibrillator, but generally, the answer is yes. Most defibrillators will have the option of purchasing paediatric pads for children under 8 yrs or 25kg. Our Lifepak CR2 Defibrillator comes with a built in button that allows the rescuer to adjust the AED to child or adult mode. 

If the defibrillator does not have child or paediatric pads, you can simply place one of the pads on the front and one on the back of the child, this will reduce the shock into the heart of the child and is suitable for a patient under 25kg. Always ensure you follow the instructions provided by the AED and follow the correct pad placement for adults and placement for children. 

No, you don’t need training to use a defibrillator however, we recommend some basic training or a workshop on the steps to apply a Defib. Defibrillators have been designed so that they’re easy to use in an emergency by anyone, if you use a device as a public responder, you are also legally covered when acting in good faith.

Here at FAAE we believe that some basic training couldn’t hurt, we offer an online training program that will show you how to do CPR and also covers the key steps to consider when using the Defibrillator. As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO32508) we also offer accredited CPR and AED training – this is the recognised course that should be done in as workplace if you have a Defibrillator- HLTAID009 Provide CPR.

No, one of the biggest myths associated with Public Access Defibrillators is that they restart the heart once it has completely stopped—this is not correct. Defibrillators work to identify any irregular fibrillating heart rhythms (like those that occur during a Sudden Cardiac Arrest) and then shock the heart so that it can return to its natural rhythm. Defibrillators don’t look for a ‘flat lined heart ‘ and can’t shock it back to life, drugs are used in this case.

Defibrillator batteries contain Lithium so it is important batteries are not included with your everyday rubbish but yes, they can be recycled.  There are a number of places where you can dispose of your expired or used lithium batteries to ensure they are recycled correctly.

Visit the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative Find a B-cycle Drop-off Point – B-cycle (bcycle.com.au) to find your nearest battery recycling location.