Debunking Seven Defib Fears

Press Release

There are many myths surrounding the use of Defibrillators but the most important things to know before you use one are:

  1. You CAN use a Defibrillator on someone with a pacemaker, place the pad a few centimetres away from the pacemaker scar/area
  2. A Defibrillator will not provide a shock unless it detects that the casualty’s heart is in ‘fibrillation’, you therefore can do NO HARM by applying a defibrillator to a casualty
  3. It is safe to use a defib on a pregnant person, it will not harm the fetus
  4. Piercings do not need to be removed. If piercings have a connecting chain that interrupts the defibrillator pad path, cut the chain
  5. Removing clothes from the chest is essential. If possible, shave casualty’s chest hair where the pads are required (pro tip Defibs tend to have scissors and a razor in the bag for this reason)
  6. Dry skin is important, pat down with towel if required
  7. If a child is under 8 years of age or below 25kg you may be required to use child specific electrode pads, call triple zero (000) before using the defib and follow their guidance

You will know when to use a Defibrillator if:

  • A person has collapsed on the ground
  • That person is not responding, and
  • That person is not breathing

Beyond these signs, don’t delay treatment. Each minute without Defibrillation decreases chances of survival by 10%.  Just remember, “collapsed to the floor, breathing poor, defib for sure.”

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