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  • Writer's pictureMI Team Training

All about PADs......

A PAD is a public access defibrillator - often found in town centres, community areas or in this case located within a traditional phone box. (I passed this one on a walk in Woolaton Hall Park in Nottingham at the weekend).

A defib is an advanced medical tool that delivers a high energy shock to the heart through the chest and is essential life saving equipment for a casualty suffering cardiac arrest.

Ideally used within the first few minutes following cardiac arrest, use of a defib can increase likelihood of survival to approximately 75%.In 2019 there were over 7million people living with heart and circulatory disease and cardiac arrest can affect those with a known issue or someone who has no previous heart issues. A healthy lifestyle including regular exercise can minimise the likelihood of a heart issue but with data from the British Heart Foundation showing that less than 1 in 10 people survive a sudden cardiac arrest the importance of effective CPR & defib implementation is clear to see. There are now thousands of PAD's across the UK and apps available which can help direct you to the nearest to your location should you require it.

If you are asked to retrieve a PAD ensure you take a mobile phone as you will need to contact the emergency services to gain an access code as the majority of PAD's are locked away for security.

The emergency services do an amazing job but they are under increasing pressure and in Feb 2020 the average wait for ambulance services was just over 7 minutes. Add to this the time to make the 999/112 call and give your location and the nature of the issue and it is clear to see the importance of making the 999/112 call as quickly as possible. The survival rate for someone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest decreases by 10% every minute.

If someone you are with, or a passer by, suffers a cardiac arrest they will lose consciousness very quickly and their heart will stop beating. Call 999/112, begin CPR (30 chest compressions then 2 rescue breaths in a continuous cycle) and ask someone to fetch the nearest defib (also known as an AED - automated external defibrillator).

In pandemic times be aware of your safety - chest compressions alone and no rescue breaths allow you to keep your face away from the casualty and are far better than doing nothing.

Research has shown that only 40% of bystanders who witnessed a cardiac arrest would consider performing CPR - this is normally due to lack of training and confidence. Confidence comes with training and experience - both of which can be achieved by attending a First Aid course.

Using a defib is easier than you may think - the unit will prompt and guide you through the process and the pads have diagrams to show placement on the casualty. The defib will monitor the casualty and either advise a shock is required or to continue with CPR. Time is of the essence and whilst others assist by placing the pads on the casualty continue with CPR up until the defib advises you to not touch the casualty as it monitors their heartbeat.

The technology that defibs use mean that with successful use a casualty can often make a full recovery if treated within the first few minutes of arrest - emergency services will arrive to take over and all concerned will be grateful for your role.

As more and more PAD's appear in public places across the UK they really are becoming a vital life saving tool.

MI Team Training offer training courses in all aspects of First Aid including AED courses.

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