Cardiac arrest and defibrillators: A quick guide for workplaces

Cardiac arrest and defibrillators: A quick guide for workplaces
27 July 2021

What is cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest is the term given to the sudden loss of heart function. The heart is no longer pumping blood and oxygen around to the vital organs of the body. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an electrical disturbance in the heart that prevents it from beating properly. During SCA, the ventricles flutter in a phenomenon known as ventricular fibrillation, making them unable to deliver blood to the body. The heart responds by quivering, rather than beating in a normal fashion. A cardiac arrest is different to a heart attack where a person is awake and has symptoms such as pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, nausea or feeling light-headed.

Anyone is at risk?

There are no warning signs associated with SCA. It often affects those who have experienced previous episodes of SCA, heart attacks, or heart failure; but it can also strike someone with absolutely no history of heart problems.

Signs of a cardiac arrest are present when a person is:

  • unconscious
  • unresponsive
  • has no pulse
  • has absent or abnormal breathing.

How common is cardiac arrest?

Over 8,500 people experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest in NSW every year. Only 12% will survive. For every minute that passes after a person has a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival decreases 10%. Quick action could save a life.

What actions can be taken to survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest?

Anyone can try to save the life of someone who has experienced a cardiac arrest by acting quickly to restore the heart beat with CPR and defibrillation. If you believe someone has suffered a cardiac arrest, take immediate action:

  • call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance
  • push hard and fast in the centre of the chest to start CPR
  • shock using a defibrillator as soon as possible to restart the heart , if one is available.

What is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the technique of chest compressions combined with rescue breathing. Early CPR saves lives. The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation recommends that bystander CPR be actively encouraged. Resuscitation using the steps DRSABCD should be followed for cardiac arrest and is taught in all first aid courses in Australia. It is important that first aid skills are up to date.

What is a defibrillator?

A defibrillator (known as an automated external defibrillator or AED) is a small, portable device designed to deliver a controlled electrical shock to a person experiencing certain cardiac rhythms. Defibrillators must be used in conjunction with CPR.

  • Anyone can use a defibrillator – they have verbal and visual instructions to guide you.
  • You cannot hurt someone by using a defibrillator.
  • A defibrillator only shocks a person who is in cardiac arrest.

Acknowledgements: Michael Hughes Foundation and NSW Ambulance.

Defibrillator as a business risk control

As an employer, you must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health. This includes providing adequate facilities for the welfare of employees at workplaces under their control.

You should consider whether it is reasonably practicable to have a defibrillator on site to manage the risk of death from cardiac arrest in the workplace. A defibrillator can be a risk control in addition to other risk control measures, such as having an appointed first aid officer.

When deciding whether it is reasonable for your workplace to have a defibrillator onsite, consider the likelihood that someone will suffer a cardiac arrest in your workplace.

The WorkSafe publication A handbook for workplaces: Controlling OHS hazards and risks, 2017, provides an outline of the risk management process.

Consider installing a defibrillator in addition to existing first aid procedures, such as having a trained first aider and first aid kits at the workplace. Defibrillators should be installed in well-known, visible and accessible locations. They should not be locked.

Zoll Defibrillators

When it comes to helping a victim of sudden cardiac arrest, not all AEDs are created equal. Unlike other AEDs, ZOLL® AEDs support rescuers with integrated, real-time feedback on compression rate and depth. Recommended by medical professionals, the ZOLL AED Plus® defibrillator with Real CPR Help® technology guides rescuers in performing high-quality CPR and provides integrated audio and visual feedback to support you throughout the rescue.

Smart Technology

Lives are not saved by AEDs alone. People save lives — using AEDs. Real CPR Help guides you in delivering high-quality CPR. Integrated, real-time feedback provides visual and audio prompts to "Push Harder" or confirms when you are doing "Good Compressions," keeping you on track to administer potentially life-saving CPR.

In addition to step-by-step audio prompts, Real CPR Help technology includes a compression depth indicator that provides real-time visual guidance to help you deliver the best possible CPR.

Ready for the Rescue

Your AED needs to be ready to use at a moment's notice. The AED Plus defibrillator can withstand many environmental conditions and has an automatic self-test capability, so you can be sure it's ready for the rescue. And an industry-leading five-year shelf life for batteries and pads means fewer replacements, less maintenance, and a low total cost of ownership.

Trusted Partner

For more than 25 years, ZOLL has been a pioneer in resuscitation and defibrillation, designing products that push the boundaries of technology to empower first responders and unexpected heroes to help save lives.

Zoll AED Plus sets the benchmark for design, dependability, durability, and performance.

Product Features
  • Real CPR Help provides real-time CPR feedback on the rate and depth of chest compressions
  • Audio prompts and visual icons complement the Chain of Survival
  • Easy-to-place, one-piece CPR-D-padz® electrodes with a 5-year shelf life
  • Fully automatic feature available — unit will deliver a shock on its own when a shockable heart rhythm is detected
  • Rugged design with an IP (ingress protection) rating of IP55 for dust and water
  • Can withstand conditions like extreme temperature, altitude, vibration, and shock
  • Off-the-shelf lithium batteries (Duracell 123a) with a 5-year battery life
  • Intelligent paediatric capability: Pedi-padz® paediatric electrodes can be purchased separately for children up to 8 years old or weighing less than 25 Kg's
  • Automatic self-testing helps ensure a state of readiness
  • Soft carry case for easy travel
  • 5-year warranty (7-year warranty with online registration)

Zoll AED PLUS - Bundle Offer View Zoll Range View Defibrillator Range
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