When a member of the public dials 999, they are notified of the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within 200 metres as the crow flies of their location. The reasoning behind this is that 200 metres as the crow flies could be a 400 metre walk there and back, this would take someone about eight minutes. The optimum time for a defibrillator to get the patient is the first three to four minutes after a cardiac arrest. We would not encourage a person to drive to the location of the defibrillator, as they could be in a heightened state of anxiety and thus putting themselves and others at risk.
What is a defibrillator?
A defibrillator, sometimes known as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a small electronic device designed to allow minimally trained people to provide lifesaving defibrillation (electric shock to the heart) to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
The device analyses and looks for shockable heart rhythm, advises the rescuer of the need for defibrillation and delivers a shock if needed.
A defibrillator applies a brief pulse of electrical current allowing the heart’s normal electrical system to resume normal control. (Please note that a 100% success rate cannot be guaranteed, but this could be the casualty’s best and only chance of survival).