Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a Defibrillator?
A. A Defibrillator is an easy-to-use device that delivers an electric shock to the heart of a patient when they have had a cardiac arrest.
A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, which is often caused by an electrical problem with the heart. A Defibrillator can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm.
Every second counts when someone is having a cardiac arrest. Survival rates are extremely poor at only 3% but when a Defibrillator is used, rates can increase to up to 50% so timely intervention is essential. That’s why we want to ensure nobody in Wales is ever further than 100m away from a lifesaving Defibrillator.
Q. Do I have to be trained to use a Defibrillator?
A. The short answer here is no. Defibrillators are specifically designed to be used by anyone and everyone, so you do not need training prior to using a Defibrillator. However, we know the prospect can be daunting, so we do strongly recommend that everyone learns CPR and Defibrillator training so that they have the confidence to use it, should they ever need to. Defibrillators are incredibly intelligent devices – they give voice prompts and light indicators to help you every step of the way.
Q. What if I shock someone because I don’t know what I am doing?
A. Don’t worry – the Defibrillator will NOT deliver a shock if one is not needed. The device is able to detect if the heart has stopped, or is in an abnormal rhythm. It will deliver a shock to the patient which will hopefully restart the heart back into a normal rhythm.
Q. What are the chances I will need to use a Defibrillator?
A. We hope you never need to, but with 8000 cardiac arrests occurring outside of hospital each year, there is always small chance that you could step in and save a life one day. We want to encourage as many people as possible to learn CPR and Defibrillator training, so that if the worst should happen, you will know what to do.