The importance of defibrillation

Treatment with effective CPR and defibrillation can improve survival for out of hospital cardiac arrest from 6% to 60% (according to American Heart Association statistics) and from 8% to 60% (according to Resuscitation Council UK statistics). The defibrillator (AED) is the key step in this improvement.

Each minute’s delay in failing to use the AED results in a 10% decrease in the chance that it will be successful. So, wait five minutes, and that’s only a 50% chance of success.

Recommendations state that defibrillation should occur within three minutes of cardiac arrest. So, ideally, AEDs need to be close the playing area and easily accessible when needed. As soon as you decide the casualty has had a cardiac arrest, you should be asking for help and a defibrillator if there is one.