Defibrillators save lives
when someone is in cardiac arrest and fighting for
their life is crucially important. Around 60,000
out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year.
When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR
and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%.
A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to
the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest. These machines
can also be called AEDs (automated external defibrillators).
Read the guide
to AEDs we produced with the Resuscitation Council
Getting a defibrillator
If you are considering getting a defibrillator, you should
first contact your local NHS ambulance service in
England, Wales, or Scotland. If you are
in Northern Ireland, please email us. You may also be
eligible for funding from the British Heart
Foundation towards a defibrillator.
Where should defibs be placed?
Ideally defibs need to be placed in areas where there are a
high number of cardiac arrests or where it is hard for the
ambulance service to get to quickly.
Rural areas, high traffic
congestion or poor road networks and
areas where large crowds gather are all places
where defibs need to be placed.
Since 1996 we have placed more than 9,500
defibrillators around the UK.
How to use a defibrillator
Defibrillators are very easy to use. Although they don’t all
look the same, they all function in broadly the same way.
If you come across someone who is not breathing or breathing
erratically, the most important thing is to start CPR. If you're on
your own, don't interrupt the CPR to go and fetch a defibrillator.
When you can, send someone else to find one. Once the defibrillator
is open, all you have to do is follow the spoken instructions.