Everything you ever wanted to know about AED's and how effective they are in saving lives. 

How do I know if I should use an AED on someone?

An AED is used on a person who has a sudden cardiac arrest. The casualty becomes unresponsive and will have absent or ineffective breathing. Due to a lack of blood and oxygen circulating around the body their colour will get darker and can look blue.

How often are the AED training courses? 

The Kapiti AED trust will be looking at having regular training sessions. Courses can be held for groups or organisations by arrangement.

Why doesn't CPR do the job anymore?

CPR alone is unlikely to permanently restore circulation in an adult cardiac arrest patient; it is simply a temporary way of keeping vital organs alive until an AED (defibrillator) can be used to restart the heart. 

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consists of chest compressions and rescue breathing (ventilation), this procedure is performed to maintain blood flow and oxygen to vital organs in the body, mainly the brain and the heart itself which are two of the most sensitive organs. These organs can become damaged quickly if they are deprived of blood flow, the brain can only withstand approximately 4 minutes of absent blood flow before damage starts occurring. 

Without CPR, after about 10mins, even if the heart could be restarted, the brain would have suffered irreversible brain damage and it would be unlikely that the casualty would survive.

Can someone be harmed by using an AED? 

AEDs are extremely safe to use and designed to be used by people with little or no training.  AEDs analyze the heart rhythm and will only deliver a shock to a person who is in cardiac arrest rhythm.

AED machines can detect movement, therefore it is important that while it is analyzing the heart rhythm the casualty is not touched or moved. The machine has voice prompts that advise the rescuers not to touch the casualty before the shock is delivered.  The risk of harming another rescuer is low? when you listen and follow the voice prompts.

How does an AED unit actually work, to revive someone?

AEDs are devices that pass an electric shock through the heart of the casualty in an attempt to correct an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). This rhythm is chaotic and unable to pump blood from the heart around the body and vital organs.

How successful is an AED in saving lives?

When a person suffers a cardiac arrest the sooner the heart rhythm can be restored using an AED, the greater their chances of survival.

If good effective CPR is being performed and defibrillation using an AED is given within a few minutes of cardiac arrest then a normal heartbeat can be restored in approximately 75% of cardiac arrest victims.  After 10 minutes without the AED being used, the chances of surviving are less than 10%.

How do I go about getting community support, to get an AED in my area?

Organise a group from your community to come along to a class, see what to do and how easy the AEDs are to use. Then fundraise and get your own unit. You never know, you could save a life!

How much do the units cost?

Complete AED unit with lock box and signage is  $5000.00 plus GST.