Community Public Access Defibrillator (CPAD)
There are now Community Public Access Defibrillators, or CPADs, located at: North Leverton Post Office & Sturton and Wheatley Village Halls
Why are Community Defibrillators important?
When a cardiac arrest occurs (when someone’s heart stops beating correctly and they stop breathing) every second counts. For every minute that goes by the chance of survival reduces by as much as 10 to 14%. But with quick and effective CPR (chest compressions and rescue breaths) and early defibrillation the chances of survival can increase hugely, to as much as 85%.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are easy to use, compact, portable and very effective. They are designed to be used by anybody; the units guide the person using it through the process by verbal instructions and visual prompts. They are safe and will not allow a shock to be given unless the patient’s heart rhythm requires it. They are designed to be stored for long periods without use and require very little routine maintenance. You will now see AEDs in many public places such as shopping centres, leisure centres, airports and train stations and now also more and more in towns, villages and communities across the country.
How does it work in an emergency when the AED is needed?
The defibrillator is stored in a cabinet which is weather proof and vandal proof and has a coded lock on the front. The details of the AED are stored on the ambulance control room dispatch system and if a 999 call is made nearby reporting a cardiac arrest or possible cardiac arrest, the caller is advised where the AED is located and is given the code and advised to send someone to collect the AED.
If the caller knows there is a CPAD nearby, they can also ask the 999 ambulance operator directly for the code to access the AED.
Instructions are given to the caller on how to use the AED by the ambulance operator, as well as there being visual and audible instructions given from the AED as soon as it is opened up. This all happens while the ambulance and local Community First Responders are on route, but because the AED is nearby and can be used quickly, the chances of survival are much greater.
Summary – operating an AED
W hen using an AED first confirm the patient is unconscious and not breathing.
Turn on the AED by opening the lid and follow the voice & visual prompts.
Attach the electrode pads to patient’s bare chest (male or female) as indicated. Ensure chest is dry and stop CPR and do not touch patient while the AED is analysing.
If required the AED will give an audible warning that a shock needs to be delivered – ensure you and others do not touch the patient.
After a shock has been delivered continue 2 minute cycles of CPR between shocks if victim is still not breathing until help arrives.
Basics of operating an AED
Open the lid and follow the simple verbal and visual instructions to expose the patients chest and attach the pads as instructed
Do not touch patient when advised to stand clear by the AED and when shock therapy is being delivered.
There are many different AED designs, but all are created with simplicity in mind. They will audibly instruct the user about exactly what to do during each step of the process. The 999 ambulance operator will also be able to give guidance and instructions about how to perform CPR and how to use the AED.
Remember that in the case of a cardiac arrest where a patient is unresponsive and not breathing, prompt CPR and prompt use of an AED can increase the patient’s chances of survival. People’s lives are saved weekly across the UK by members of the public performing CPR and using AEDs when a cardiac arrest happens.