How to use a Defibrillator

How to use a Defibrillator

Using a defibrillator will increase the chance of survival to around 80%, if used with CPR and used immediately.  Therefore, is it important to know where your nearest defibrillator is at all times and how to use a defibrillator.  The majority of defibrillators cost around £1000 or US$800.  Here at The Training Centre we deliver First Aid training in Hemel Hempstead and First Aid at Work Training in Hertfordshire.

When to use

Initially we conduct the Primary Survey, recap on the primary survey here –

Having run through DRABC, we notice that they are not breathing and there is no obvious airway blockage.  It is now extremely important to send for help and a defibrillator.

We start CPR immediately until help and/or a defibrillator arrives – a recap on adult CPR can be found here –

The moment the defibrillator arrives we continue CPR while our assistant prepares the defibrillator.

How to use

Turn on the defibrillator and follow the voice prompts – an example of prompts is listed below.

  1. Remove clothes from around the casualty’s chest area (you may need to use shears/scissors to cut open some clothing).
  2. Place the pads as shown and described by the defibrillator i.e. One pad on the casualty’s right chest just below their shoulder and the other pad on the casualty’s rib cage on their left.
  3. Do not touch the casualty while the defibrillator analysis for a heartbeat.
  4. At this stage the defibrillator may state “Shock advised, do not touch the casualty, stand clear and press the orange flashing button!”.  If safe to do so, then press the button and deliver the shock.
  5. The defibrillator will state “It is now safe to touch the casualty, start CPR, for help with CPR press the blue flashing button”.
  6. Start CPR until the defibrillator says otherwise.  May I remind you at this stage if you have not done so already ensure that the EMS have been called.
  7. Follow the prompts from the defibrillator as it instructs you to either continue CPR or shock the casualty again.

Further information on How to use a Defibrillator

So now you can see how easy it is to use a defibrillator and the importance of using one.  CPR alone may only give you around a 7-10% chance of survival but with quick thinking and quick actions using a defibrillator can increase the chance of survival to closer than an 80% chance.

If at any time you have to leave the casualty, place them into the recover position first.

For further information and training please visit The Training Centre, we deliver Paediatric First Aid Training in Hertfordshire and Paediatric First Aid Training in Hemel Hempstead.

If you would know more about First Aid Training in Bedfordshire, then please visit