What is a defibrillator? All your questions about AEDs answered

You may have heard the term ‘defibrillator’, ‘aed’, or ‘automated external defibrillator’ and are wondering, what is it?

We address some of the top frequently asked questions about defibrillators and hope to guide you through your education journey!

What is a defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a medical device and is used when a patient is suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Once the electrode pads are effectively placed on the patient, the device will analyse the heart rhythm to determine if an electrical shock is required.

If a shock is required the defibrillator will deliver the shock automatically with a fully automatic model or advise the user to press the shock button with a semi-automatic model.

How common is Sudden Cardiac Arrest? (SCA)

Over 30,000 Australians suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) every year. Without defibrillators or CPR, less than 5% survive.

Every minute that passes without defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10%.

How does a defibrillator work?

The defibrillator is powered by a battery and once turned on (by opening the lid) the instructions will guide the user to place the electrodes on the patient.

Once the electrodes have been effectively placed, the defibrillator will analyse the patient’s heart rhythm to determine if they are suffering a cardiac arrest.

If so, the device will deliver energy to the heart muscle to correct the abnormal rhythm back to normal.

How is a defibrillator made?

A defibrillator is a medical device made up of many technical components by qualified companies under strict guidelines and approvals.

Will a defibrillator restart your heart?

A defibrillator will deliver energy to a heart that is quivering or not functioning correctly.

If the defibrillator upon analysis of the heart, determines a shock is required a controlled pulse of energy is delivered to convert the heart back to normal.

Will a defibrillator kill you?

No, a defibrillator will only deliver a shock if there is detection of an abnormal heart rhythm that requires defibrillation.

If nothing is done, the patient will not survive.

How much should I pay for a defibrillator?

There are a number of units available from $1,500 to $2,500 however there are a number of differences in the units.

The most important is the warranty of the unit, the battery life and the replacement cost.

Ensure the unit performs comprehensive self-testing and is easy to use.

Our FRED PA-1 defibrillator features a 10 year warranty, 6 year battery life and 3 year electrode life. This AED would be considered as a low cost of ownership due to its longevity and low cost of replacement. The FRED PA-1 is the longest warranty defibrillator in the industry (and Australia).

What is the longest warranty on a defibrillator?

The Schiller FRED PA-1 has a 10 year warranty and the longest in the industry.

When looking to purchase a defibrillator, there may be lower cost AED’s on the market, but their warranties and battery/electrode lives will reflect this. Ensure your research your defibrillator before purchasing.

I can’t afford an upfront cost, can I pay in instalments?

Cardiac Defibrillators offer an Interest Free Payment Plan for anyone and everyone. Whether you’re a business or buying for personal reasons, we’ve tried to make defibrillators accessible to as many people as possible.

This budget-friendly option means there is no better time to get an AED for your facility, add more AED units or upgrade your old unit.

The program ensures that your business, workplace, school or club will be equipped with the latest AED model (FRED PA-1) and removes the worry of needing to maintain the device.

Where to buy a defibrillator?

There are a number of providers of defibrillators, however the best supplier is one who is directly representing the manufacturer of the unit, not just a reseller.

Who can use a defibrillator?

Anyone can use a defibrillator as they cannot be used inappropriately.

All the user needs to do is place a pair of electrodes on the bare chest of a patient.

Are defibrillators dangerous?

As defibrillators cannot be used inappropriately they are not dangerous.

Are defibrillators painful?

No, as the patient is unconscious and not breathing they would not remember or feel any pain and they require a controlled pulse of energy to the heart muscle in order to survive.

What is the best defibrillator to buy?

The FRED PA-1 AED is the best unit as it has industry leading 10 year warranty, 6 year battery life and 3 year life for the electrodes.

It performs comprehensive self-testing of the critical components and is extremely easy to use and maintain.

When is a defibrillator used?

A defibrillator is used when a patient is suffering a sudden cardiac arrest (unconscious and not breathing).

When is a defibrillator needed?

A defibrillator is needed when a patient suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and is the only definitive treatment in order for the patient to survive.

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