We hope we will never need to use one, but we have recently invested in a defibrillator for the surgery.
Evidence shows that the major factor limiting the number of people who survive sudden cardiac arrest is the ability to provide defibrillation within a critical time.
Conditions for defibrillation are optimal for only a very few minutes after the onset of ventricular fibrillation, although this period can be extended if a bystander provides effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), particularly chest compressions.
Nevertheless, the victim’s chance of survival falls by around 7 – 10% with every minute that defibrillation is delayed. Only rarely are the emergency medical services able to attend and provide defibrillation early enough, and the best way of ensuring prompt defibrillation is for someone nearby to use an AED to deliver the shock that can often save a life.