A defibrillator is a device used in the treatment of a patient in cardiac arrest.

Defibrillators have been installed in public places in recent years. They are located within easy access, and they can be recognised from the AED sign (automated external defibrillator). Public access defibrillators with automatic voice instructions have been designed to be used without any medical training.

After you have switched the device on, the voice instructions will tell you what to do – simple and safe. The automatic defibrillator analyses the patient’s heartbeat and, if necessary, asks you to give a short electric shock near the heart by pressing a button. The device chooses the right voltage automatically. The purpose of the shock is to stop the irregular rhythm of the heart so that the heart can resume its regular rhythm.

The electrodes in the defibrillator package are attached to the patient’s bare chest after the defibrillator has been switched on. The electrodes carry the electric current to the heart. There are two electrodes, which should be attached as instructed.

There is a separate button for giving the electric shock. The automatic defibrillator will ask you not to touch the patient while it gives the shock. Continue compressions immediately after the shock. If the patient’s heart resumes normal rhythm, the defibrillator will instruct you what to do next. If the defibrillator does not recommend a shock, it will instruct the user accordingly.

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Updated  8.6.2020