29 July 2014 - Defibrillators increase survival chances Knowing how to use a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death. When a person is suffering a cardiac arrest, they lose consciousness immediately and there are no signs of life. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) delivers an electric pulse through the chest, in an attempt to restore normal heart rhythm. A patient’s chance of survival decreases 10 per cent for every one minute that passes without defibrillation; with the application of an AED within five minutes of collapse gives the patient the best possible chance of survival. The Chain of Survival initiative focuses on four key immediate actions, which when delivered in sequence will give the patient a greater chance of survival; these are: early access – call 999, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care. Access to a defibrillator on site means that three of these life-saving actions can be carried out, possibly even before the ambulance has even arrived. Trained staff and an on-site AED ensure a safer environment for the local and wider community. It is essential that the location of these machines is made public knowledge as this could be a potentially life-saving move.