A defibrillator is a device that helps the body regain vital signs of life. It is typically used during a period of time where an individual is suffering from a cardiac arrest, or in other medical terms, life-threatening arrhythmia. This dangerous irregular beating of one's heart is, in medical terms, referred to as ventricular fibrillation.
A defribillator should always, where possible, be used on an individual who is unresponsive and not breathing as they normally should.
A defibrillator device provides an extremely high-energy electrical shock to the patient's rapidly beating heart. This shock then restarts the heart and thus allows the heart to regain its normal beating rhythm once again.
No training is required for the use of a defibrillator, so anyone can use it in a situation where it is deemed necessary.
If a defibrillator is used within three minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the patient will have up to a 70 per cent chance of surviving, and a 90 per cent chance of survival when the defibrillator is used within a minute of the sudden cardiac arrest.
Fortunately, Public Access Defibrillators (PAD) are very accessible. They are usually located in workplaces and various public areas including airports, shopping centres, and train/bus stations.