Thinking about getting a defibrillator?

Our community are considering a cPAD – what do we need to think about?

1At NEAS, we have various packages on offer to provide your community not only with a defibrillator, but also the external cabinet to house it, and with free familiarisation for your community.   Further details can be found here for the leaflet and here for the comparison of some popular models.

Location

  • Is there somewhere that is clearly visible and easily recognisable?
  • Is there enough light so that people can see the cabinet and lock mechanism?
  • Is there an accessible power supply?
  • Is there any CCTV nearby?
  • Are there any other cPADs already in the area?

Any cabinet that stores a defibrillator on the outside of the building will need an electricity supply to power a heater, which ensures that the defibrillator is kept above 5oc, so that it remains operational.   Cabinets should be vandal proof and weather proof.

Ownership

The cPAD would belong to the organisation or community and it would be their responsibility to ensure that it is checked regularly, to establish that it is in good working order and that the defibrillator pads are in date.

 cPAD sites should have at least one guardian but preferably two, who are responsible for checking the machine, and making a monthly return to NEAS to confirm that it is in good working order.

Ongoing costs

You should also make provision for the on-going costs over the life of the defibrillator:

  • New pads when they go out of date or if they are used
  • New battery
  • The cost of electric for the cabinet, estimated at approximately £30 maximum per year  

If your community or organisation is thinking of installing a cPAD then do not forget to insure your new equipment. Prior to purchasing your defibrillator and cabinet you should contact your insurer to confirm the Public Liability section will provide cover. You should consider insurance for the defibrillator and cabinet against theft or accidental damage cover.

Warranty

The machine will be covered by a warranty of between five to eight years, depending on the model, although some manufacturers offer extension up to ten years. The pads usually have a shelf life of between two years and five years, and the batteries of between four and seven years.

Becoming familiar with your defibrillator

For cPAD sites, we offer an initial awareness session, so that everyone feels more confident and comfortable in recognising cardiac arrest, providing CPR and using a defibrillator. The session covers making the 999 call, the information required, deciding whether someone is conscious or not, whether they are breathing normally or not, the recovery position, basic life support and the use of the defibrillator. It takes around two hours, is free and can be delivered to both adults and children.

3Do I need to be trained to use the defibrillator?

Whilst the Resuscitation Council (UK) take the view that the use of one should not be restricted to trained personnel, it also states that it is "highly desirable that those who may be called upon to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) should be trained in their use, and keep their skills up to date".

Evidence shows that the time to the first shock being delivered, a crucial factor in survival, is much shorter where there are people who are familiar with and able to use the AED. The awareness sessions we offer should give people the knowledge to identify someone in cardiac arrest, and the confidence to start CPR and use the AED.

How do we make sure it is always ready?

By having two guardians who will check the defibrillator and cabinet on a weekly basis, it helps to ensure that if there are any issues, we are aware of them quickly, and can ensure that the cPAD is temporarily deactivated from our system.

The checks cPAD guardians should make are:

  • Exterior of the cabinet
    • Is it damaged or is it not securely fixed to the structure?
    • Check the key pad and opening handle, if stiff lubricate with WD40 or similar (do this at least once a month in any case)
  • Interior of the cabinet
    • Is the internal light working?
    • If cold, does the heater appear to be working?
    • Are there any signs of excess internal moisture or water ingress?
  • Defibrillator
    • Are all the indicators showing normal?
    • Are there two hygiene/rescue packs and two sets of pads?
    • Are the pads in date?
    • Is the battery charged?

Confirmation that these checks have been carried out should be emailed to firstresponder@neas.nhs.uk on a monthly basis, using the form.

After getting some more information about applying for a cPAD, please click here to find out more about the funding opportunities.

Return to main cPAD page.

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