By using a defibrillator before an ambulance arrives, the chance of survival considerably increases. Learn how to proceed.

defibrillator being used


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How to use a defibrillator

  1. Call 999.
  2. Turn on the defibrillator.
  3. Take off clothing.
  4. Stick pads on.
  5. Follow voice instructions whilst performing CPR.

What to do

  1. When you detect someone who is unresponsive and not breathing normally during a primary survey, have a helper contact 999 or 112 for emergency assistance while you begin to perform CPR. If a defibrillator is accessible, request that a helper locate and bring one.
    • If you’re alone, use the hands-free speaker on your phone to begin CPR while speaking to emergency control.
    • If a person is suffering from an irregular heart rhythm and has no pulse, do not attempt to find one on your own; the ambulance will come with one.
  2. When the helper returns with a defibrillator, request that it be switched on and that the pads be removed while you continue CPR. To reach the victim’s bare chest, they should remove or cut through clothing. They must also wipe away any perspiration. On what to do, you will hear voice instructions from the defibrillator.
  3. To apply the pads, first, remove the backing paper. In the spaces indicated, place the pads in the appropriate places. The first pad should be placed on top of the victim’s collar bone to the right. The second pad should be placed on top of a victim’s armpit to the left.
  4. The defibrillator will examine the heart’s rhythm. Stop CPR and make sure no one is handling the victim. It will then provide a series of visual and verbal indicators that must be followed.
    • Tell everyone to stand back if the defibrillator advises you that a shock is required. When it’s time to press the shock button, the defibrillator will notify you. The defibrillator will inform you to continue CPR for two minutes before re-analysing after the shock has been delivered.
    • Continue CPR for two minutes if the defibrillator advises you that no shock is required.
  5. Put the patient in the recovery position if they become responsive, such as coughing, opening their eyes or speaking, and begin to breathe normally. Leave the defibrillator connected. If necessary, monitor their level of response and prepare to give CPR again.

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