Public Access Defibrillators
A Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) is a facility which can be used by members of the public to render assistance to a person who is in cardiac arrest.
When a person suffers a cardiac arrest, they lose consciousness immediately and there are no signs of life. An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) can be used to deliver an electric pulse through the chest in an attempt to restore normal heart rhythm. A patient's chance of survival decreases 14% every minute that passes without defibrillation. The successful application of an AED within 5 minutes of collapse gives the best possible chance of survival.
- A PAD consists of a cabinet, which is mounted on a wall in a central area of a community , containing an AED. Locations below
- Access is gained to the AED by the use of a combination lock fitted to the door of the cabinet. In the event of a 999 call being placed and the caller reporting a cardiac arrest (or likely symptoms), in addition to mobilising emergency resources the ambulance service will advise the caller of the nearest PAD and will give the caller the access code.
- It is then necessary for someone (i.e. a member of the public) to go to the PAD, open the cabinet using the keycode, remove the AED, and return to the patient.
- The AED will guide the person who is operating it through the steps using verbal instructions – including making an analysis and not shocking if rhythm detected or a defibrillation shock is inappropriate for the heart rhythm detected.
- PADs obviously rely on member of the public being willing to undertake this activity. It also relies on a relatively short transit time to/from the PAD from the patients location.
WMAS do not permit AEDs in PADs to be used with paediatric electrodes. They are fitted with adult electrodes. This means that the AEDs cannot – and must not (through the attempted use of adult electrodes) – be used on children 8 years old and younger.