What is a defibrillator? How does it work?
Why do I need it? Am I allowed to use it?
The answer is this:
A defibrillator is a device that de-fibrillates (resets) the heart, by giving an electric shock to a person with an abnormal heart rhythm. And that isn’t just done as seen in the movies with two electrodes that are slammed onto the person’s chest but with the electrodes are stuck onto the person.
A person suffering a cardiac arrest and needing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (chest compression and ventilation), highly benefits from an early defibrillation. Chest compression and ventilation should not be neglected or delayed to obtain a defibrillator.
A defibrillator found on the side of the road or in a public building is supposed to be used by any bystander.
There are many things to learn about this topic and I myself still have a long way to go. This topic goes beyond what can be shared in a short blog post like this.
I did however have the chance to give a 2 hour presentation about this. Our local pharmacist wanted to raise the public awareness of this topic and asked our station to collaborate.
Here you can read a short summary of the event (in German) which was covered by a local newspaper:
In the limited space of the pharmacy an unexpected number of customers actually stopped, watched, asked questions and listened to the presentation.
Although many people are scared and don’t want to think of any situation that requires first aid or medical assistance, they still want to know.
You still want to be able to help your family members and friends when they need it.
Using a defibrillator is easy and following the audio instructions of the device makes it difficult to do something wrong. The only mistake to be made in an emergency situation is doing nothing. The easiest and right thing to do is picking up the phone to call emergency services.