A Guide to Defibrillators


A cardiac arrest can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. A key example of this being the Christian Eriksen incident last month at the Euro 2020 football match, if it wasn’t for the medics acting fast with CPR and the use of the defibrillator he would have lost his life. Early defibrillation and effective CPR is the single most effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest. Defibrillators are an essential piece of equipment in increasing the survival rates for Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA). By using a defibrillator within 3-5 minutes, you can significantly increase someone’s chance of survival by 50-70%.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. During sudden cardiac arrest, the normally organised electrical impulses that initiate cardiac contraction (heartbeats) discharge chaotically, and the heart muscle twitches spasmodically. An AED applies a brief pulse of electrical current to the heart, allowing the heart’s normal electrical system to resume control.

The aim of installing defibrillators in the workplace, schools and colleges, health and leisure clubs, local communities, religious centres, airports, museums & retail parks is to protect the workforce and also protect members of the general public. It is important that more and more places have access to a defibrillator and that people can recognise what they are. No barriers should be put in the way of anyone using an AED when it is needed, it is important that all employees/pupils/community members/general public know where the device is located and know how to raise the alarm in the event of an accident or sudden illness to potentially save someone’s life.

St Andrew’s First Aid is proud to be Scotland’s dedicated first aid charity and leading first aid training provider​. We provide numerous courses on Defibrillators which you can find on our “Book a Course” section of the website and our social enterprise is recognised by HSE as a standard-setter and principal supplier of first aid, health, and safety training and supplies sales including defibrillators. All profits delivered by St Andrew’s First Aid Training and Supplies Ltd are gift-aided back to the parent charity allowing us to continue with our essential first aid provision and educational programmes for communities in Scotland and beyond.

Download our AED Buyers’ Guide below to find out more about defibrillators and help save lives

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