What does a defibrillator do?
When a person is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, they will usually be unresponsive and either won’t be breathing or won’t be breathing normally. Throughout a cardiac arrest, the heart will stop pumping blood around the body, which means the brain will be cut off from receiving oxygen. This will then result in the patient losing consciousness. It’s essential to act as quickly as possible when assisting a patient who is experiencing a cardiac arrest—this is why it’s so important to have a defibrillator readily available.
When the heart goes into cardiac arrest, it will start beating at an irregular rhythm. The main purpose of a defibrillator is to detect any of these irregular rhythms and then restore the heartbeat to a natural state by delivering a shock to the patient. The shock is delivered via electrode pads which are placed on the chest of the patient. If the defibrillator doesn’t detect an issue, it won’t administer a shock.