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How Does a Defibrillator Work?

Using defibrillator on construction worker



Defibrillators: How Do They Work?


Ensure you’re prepared for any medical emergency by first understanding how a defibrillator works. Our team of Defibrillator experts have put together a clear guide outlining how the machine analyses the heart rhythm of the patient.

Modern defibrillators are designed to be easy-to-use, ensuring that anyone can operate one in emergency situations, including in the event of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA is completely unpredictable—it can strike at any time and can happen to individuals of all ages and health levels.

The chance of survival for SCA patients is significantly increased when a defibrillator is used in the attempt for revival compared to when CPR is used alone.

Our team of defibrillator and first aid experts have created a brief outline on how a defibrillator works and the best practice for using modern AED’s:

Setting Up The Defibrillator:

The defibrillator will prompt you with verbal and visual instructions advising you of exactly what to do, this includes step-by-step instructions that will guide you through the steps to apply pads and when to do CPR.

These steps will usually begin by telling you to stay calm and call 000, then the AED will ask you to apply the two adhesive pads of the defibrillator to the chest of the patient. The pad placement is essential for the operation of the shock into the heart, we explain this by saying that the Pads are placed in the ‘Drivers Seat belt Position’. At FAAE, we stock a range of defibrillators and Industry defibrillator packs that are ready to use and easy to operate and come with a FREE instructional video for your team.

Analysing The Heart Rhythm:

Once the pads have been applied to the chest of the patient, the defibrillator will then start analysing their heart rhythm. Automated defibrillators (AEDs) will identify any fibrillating heart rhythms including Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) and determine whether a shock is required. The shock is delivered to the patient quickly and with an Automatic Defibrillator – automatically, saving you any confusion when it comes to identifying whether a shock is necessary or not.

Defibrillators are designed to shock only when VF or VT are detected. Once you’re prompted by the defibrillator, you will then have to continue to administer CPR until the patient starts to show signs of life.

The potentially lifesaving shock of a defibrillator is delivered through the patient’s chest wall via an electric current. Medical dramas on TV have created the illusion that defibrillators are used to restart the heart when it stops completely. This is not an accurate representation of most defibrillators, because the purpose of the shock is to actually return the heart back to a normal and natural rhythm when it’s beating irregularly.

Ensure You’re Defib Ready:

Always closely refer to the instructions on the defibrillator that you are using for guidance and in the event of an emergency be sure to call 000 for assistance.

Make sure you’re prepared for a medical emergency by investing in the reassurance of first aid training with our qualified team. Here at FAAE, we conduct a complete range of first aid courses including CPR and defibrillator training. Our online shop is full of a wide range of defibrillators and defibrillator packs, including specially designed workplace defib packs. Browse our huge range of defibrillators and first aid equipment on the online stop or get in contact with our friendly team today for all enquiries.


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