What is an AED, and why are they vital in saving lives?

AED stands for‘ Automated External Defibrillator’, which is a device that detects lethal heart rhythms which stop the heart from pumping effectively, and then allows a rescuer to deliver a measured shock to a revert these rhythms, so the heart can pump effectively again.

  1. The only method available to revert lethal cardiac arrest rhythms is the use of a defibrillator e.g. AED.
  2. Statistically, for every minute lost without defibrillation, you lose 10% probability of saving a life (With good CPR you can extend this by several more minutes!)
  3. The ‘Average Ambulance Response Time in major metropolitan cities of Australia is approximately 16 minutes.
  4. If you apply a measured shock to a person’s heart, suffering a lethal rhythm within the first minute, they have a 70%chance of survival.

Are they safe to use?

Yes they are. The AED talks you through the process giving very simple directions on what to do and when.

Will I kill someone using a defibrillator?

No! AED’s will only deliver a shock to a heart if it detects a lethal rhythm via electrodes you stick to the person’s chest. These electrodes have sensors in them, and if they detect a normal heart rhythm they WILL NOT deliver a shock.

When do I use one?

You use a defibrillator when you need to undertake CPR, which is performed on an unconscious person who is not breathing normally e.g. regular, rhythmic breathing.

Carrum Bowling Club defibrillator saves cyclist’s life

When the Carrum Bowling Club bought a defibrillator two years ago, they thought it might help an ageing bowler succumbing to heat.

But a peninsula cyclist is a lucky beneficiary of the club’s foresight after suffering cardiac arrest in the right place at the right time.

“(We bought it) just because of the age of our members basically, our average age is about 70,” president Phil Kelly told Kate Stevenson and Peter Maher on 3AW Breakfast. “We’ve had quite a few people get affected by the heat.

“It brings home that there should be more of these around. “They would save more lives.”