CPR First Aid

Can CPR be used with Defibrillators?

Can CPR be used with Defibrillators

The American Heart Association recommends CPR when a person loses consciousness and is unresponsive. CPR is a potentially life-saving procedure that provides oxygen to the brain and heart so they can continue working while waiting for emergency medical help. Can CPR be used with defibrillators though?

In any case, if you’re not trained in CPR, we will teach you how to perform this life-saving technique in this blog post. At the same time, we’ll delve into whether or not CPR and defibrillators can be used together.

What is a Defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a machine that shocks the heart of someone experiencing cardiac arrest to restore a normal heart rhythm. An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) or a PAD are other names for a defibrillator (Public Access Defibrillator).

Device shocks heart in cardiac arrest, restoring rhythm. Also called AED or PAD.

What is CPR?

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, an emergency procedure used if a person’s heart stops beating or breathing ceases. 

CPR is a combination of chest compressions and artificial ventilation (rescue breathing) to save a person’s life. When performed right away, it can increase a person’s chances of survival after cardiac arrest.

CPR: Emergency procedure for heart/breathing cessation, combining chest compressions & rescue breathing for survival.

What Should You Do an AED or CPR First?

If you’re thinking about what to prioritize when you encounter a suspected patient who had a cardiac arrest with a negative pulse and breathing, here’s what you need to do first:

  1. Always dial 000 first before performing CPR and AED. It is imperative to seek first for emergency services for them to be able to respond quickly at the scene. It takes 8 to 9 minutes before ambulances arrive at the scene. 
  2. CPR should not be delayed while waiting for the AED if not readily available. If an AED is easily accessible, get the AED and use it right away. However, there’s no AED close enough; thus, CPR must be started first. As soon as the AED arrives, turn on the AED and follow the voice or display commands. If possible, have a second person complete the AED aspects while the first person continues with CPR. 
  3. Once an AED is installed, follow instructions and shock someone if directed to do so. Start CPR after administering the shock.

How is CPR Performed with Defibrillators?

We have what we call ‘The Chain of Survival.’ According to American Redcross, cardiac arrests can happen anytime, anywhere. More than 75% of cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital; of that, only 5% survive if left untreated. Survival from cardiac arrest depends on a series of critical interventions. Survival is unlikely if one of these vital actions is neglected or delayed. The American Heart Association has used the term Chain of Survival to describe this sequence.

Chain of Survival: American Redcross warns - Cardiac arrests strike anywhere, anytime. 5% survive if untreated.

First Link – Early Access

Early access is recognizing that a person is unconscious or not breathing and that they need more than basic first aid and then calling for an ambulance or medical assistance as soon as possible. When calling 000 for help, you must be clear on your information. Give specific details about your location and the nature of the emergency, and follow all their instructions.

Second Link – Early CPR

The two most vital anatomical systems in our body are the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. If these systems fail for only a short time, the body cannot function normally, and this will eventually cause death. Statistics show that our brain cells begin to die in as little as 3-4 minutes without oxygen. Brain cells do not regenerate; therefore, if CPR is delayed, the more chance the casualty may suffer permanent brain damage and the less chance of survival.

Early CPR within the first 2-3 minutes can significantly improve the chances of survival.

Third Link – Early Defibrillation

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable computerised device that provides an electrical charge to return the heart to a normal rhythm.

The portable device has a built-in computer and sensor that will check for the heart rhythm once placed on the casualty’s chest and determine if defibrillation is required. Voice prompts are given to the user to follow and streamline the defibrillation process.

  • Access to Early Defibrillation is the single most crucial step in this cycle
  • Every minute early defibrillation is delayed reduces the person’s chances of survival by 10%. 
  • This is why it is important to call 000 if a cardiac arrest is suspected. A defibrillator is necessary to reverse this process and ‘reboot’ the heart back into its normal cycle
  • An AED can be used effectively with minimal training, as all the current models are designed not to function unless the unit detects an abnormal “shockable” heart rhythm
  • AED use is not restricted to trained personnel – any first aider can use an AED
  • AED units can accurately identify the casualty’s cardiac rhythm as ‘shockable’ or ‘non-shockable’
  • An AED is only to be applied to a non-breathing casualty!

Fourth Link – Early Advanced Care

  1. Early advanced care means the sooner a paramedic can attend to the casualty, the greater chance a casualty can be stabilised. As such, you must call 000 as soon as possible. The sooner you contact emergency services, the sooner a paramedic will be on the scene, dramatically increasing the casualties’ chance of survival.
  2. It is essential to calmly provide accurate and detailed information about the casualty and the incident to Paramedics and emergency workers when they arrive.
  3. The actions taken and treatment you have provided, the time of the incident, any medications involved, and the behaviour of the casualty are all critical things emergency workers will want to know. Provide details in a way that recognises that it is time critical.

First Aid Courses in Liverpool

CPR First Aid is glad to offer HLTAID009 Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Liverpool, Australia. The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)- regulated first aid course providers in Liverpool provides this.

What is the HLTAID009 Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation First Aid Course?

This course provides the skills and knowledge required to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in line with the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) Guidelines. This CPR update course is the most recent version of what is often referred to as the CPR Update or CPR Refresher.


In the event of sudden cardiac arrest in the workplace, having an AED on-site, CPR, and AED-certified employees may mean the difference between life and death. Even your family members can benefit from learning these first aid skills. We hope that in this blog, you learn the skills and perform CPR and AED safely.

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