Question: What is a AED?
Answer: AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. An AED is
used to administer an electric shock to a person who is having a cardiac
arrest. AEDs are designed to allow non-medical personnel to save lives.
Question: What does the American Heart Association and the Irish
Heart foundation say about AEDs?
Answer: The Irish
Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association strongly supports
having AEDs in public areas such as sports arenas, office complexes,
schools, doctors' offices, shopping centres, golf courses, airports,
and other public places. The AHA also advocates that all police and
fire and rescue vehicles be equipped with an AED.
Question: What does the Health & Safety Authority in Ireland say
Answer: The HSA now include training in the
use of a defibrillator as a requirement for Occupational First Aid.
Question: How does an AED work?
Answer: Two pads,
connected to the AED, are placed on the patient's chest. A computer
inside the AED analyzes the patient's heart rhythm and determines if a
shock is required to save the victim. If a shock is required, the AED
uses voice instructions to guide the user through saving the person's
Question: Why do we need AEDs?
Answer: AEDs save
lives. When a person has a sudden cardiac arrest ("SCA"), their
heart's regular rhythm becomes chaotic or arrhythmic. Every minute
that the heart is not beating lowers the odds of survival by 7% to
10%. After 10 minutes without defibrillation very few people survive.
Question: What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?
Answer: Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart's normal heart
rhythm suddenly becomes chaotic. The heart can no longer pump the
blood effectively and the victim collapses, stops breathing, becomes
unresponsive, and has no detectable pulse. When used on a victim of
SCA, the AED can be used to administer a life-saving electric shock
that restores the heart's rhythm to normal.
Question: Is SCA the same as a heart attack?
Answer: No. Both the heart attack (myocardial infarction) and a
sudden cardiac arrest have to do with the heart, but they are
different problems. SCA is an electrical problem; a heart attack is a
"plumbing" problem. Sometimes a heart attack, which may not be fatal
in itself, can trigger a sudden cardiac arrest.
Question: Who can have a SCA?
Anyone, anytime. Children can have SCAs, teenagers can have SCAs,
athletes can have SCAs, old people can have SCAs. Although the risk of
SCA increases with age and in people with heart problems, a large
percentage of the victims are people with no known risk factors.
Question: What is the recommended treatment for SCA?
Answer: Defibrillation is the only treatment proven to restore
a normal heart rhythm.
Question: How much time do I have to respond if someone has a
sudden cardiac arrest?
Answer: Only minutes.
Defibrillate within 3 minutes and the chances of survival are 70%.
After 10 minutes, the chances of survival are negligible.
Question: I know CPR; wouldn't it help?
Answer: CPR only buys a little more time - potentially giving the
victim a small amount of extra time until a defibrillator arrives. But
SCA ultimately requires a shock to restore a normal heart rhythm. As a
result, most CPR training now also includes AED training.
Question: Is an AED complicated to use?
AEDs are very easy to use. An AED can be used by practically anyone
who has been shown what to do. In fact, there are a number cases where
people with no training at all have saved lives.
Question: Can a non-medical person make a mistake when using an
Answer: AEDs are safe to use by anyone who has
been shown how to use them. The AED's voice guides the rescuer through
the steps involved in saving someone; for example, "apply pads to
patient's bare chest" (the pads themselves have pictures of where they
should be placed) and "press red shock button." Furthermore,
safeguards have been designed into the unit precisely so that
non-medical responders can't use the AED to shock someone who doesn't
need a shock.
Question: Can the AED itself make a mistake?
It is unlikely. Studies show that AEDs interpret the victim's heart
rhythm more quickly and accurately than many trained emergency
professionals. If the AED determines that no shock is needed, it will
not allow a shock to be given.
Question: What else do I need to do to keep my AED in working
Answer: The pad package must be replaced every
two years. Otherwise, the AED performs automatic self-checks every day
to test its operational readiness. If anything is not fully
functional, the unit will make a loud chirp and flash a red light
warning the owner that servicing may be required.
Question: What features should I look for in an AED?
Answer: Look for 1) an AED that is easy for non-medical people to
use, 2) an AED that is technically reliable, and 3) one that is
Question: How do I buy a defibrillator - AED?
Contact Safety Ireland First Response Limited
Telephone: 01-44 22 999
Callsave: 1850 555 999
Office Hours: 9am till 5pm Monday - Friday
Safety Ireland First Response is the sole authorised distributor for Defibtech LLC products in Ireland. Only units sold by
us or our approved resellers are covered under warranty.
We are also an approved training site for the Irish Heart Foundation &
the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council. Safety Ireland with Defibtech
have the highest level of support available in Ireland for
defibrillators. With our main office just off the M50 in Terenure
Dublin, and offices in Limerick, Offaly and Wexford we are able to
provide the best support and service possible in Ireland.
Safety Ireland Accreditation:
Irish Heart Foundation - IHF - Approved Training Site.
Quality & Qualifications Ireland - QQI - Approved Training
Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council - PHECC - Recognised
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health - IOSH - Licensed
Defibtech is a registered Trade Mark in Ireland number
242083 & 246780.
External Defibrillator of Choice
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