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At Imperative Supplies, we understand it can become confusing deciding which products are right for you when there are so many available. This is why we try to make things as easy as possible for our clients to ensure they locate exactly what they need with as little fuss as possible and whilst still focussing on your individual requirements and budget.

Below you will find our FAQs, which we have answered in order to give you more of understanding as to why a defibrillator is so important to have available in an emergency situation. If you have any additional questions or would like any advice as to which AED or equipment will benefit you the most, please don’t hesitate to call our customer care team on 0800 470 4846.


  • What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?
  • Are an SCA and a Heart Attack the same thing?
  • Who is at risk of SCA?
  • What is an AED?
  • Can I hurt someone using an AED?
  • Who can use an AED?
  • Do I still need to call 999/ 112 for an ambulance?


What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

A Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart which stops blood from pumping around the body. When this occurs, the heart goes into fibrillation, causing the victim to go unconscious and die if treatment isn’t administered. 


Are an SCA and a Heart Attack the same thing?

No. A heart attack is a condition where the blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked, starving the heart of blood and oxygen. This is caused usually by Coronary heart disease a condition which allows a gradual build-up of fatty material in the walls of the artery which leads to a blood clot. Heart attack victims often experience chest pain and usually remain conscious, this can often lead to an SCA however an SCA can occur independently from a heart attack and without any warning signs.


Who is at risk of SCA?

The average age of SCA victim is around 65, however SCA is unpredictable and can affect anyone of any age at any time. Statistics show that approximately 12 people under the age of 35 die each week from unexpected cardiac arrest, SCA can strike without any prior heart conditions and symptoms which is why it’s extremely important to understand the procedure to help preserve the life of a SCA victim.  


What is an AED?

An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is a small device which analyses an SCA victim and looks for the shockable heart rhythms ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). It advises the rescuer whether defibrillation is needed and if so delivers a shock to reset the hearts natural rhythm.


Can I hurt someone using an AED?

No, an AED will only shock a victim of SCA if the shockable rhythms VT and VF are detected. Technically, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest is already dead and with CPR and shock from an AED being the only definitive treatment, is the victim’s only chance of survival. AEDs can also be used on infants and children as well as adults but require paediatric electrode pads to reduce the amount of shock delivered to ensure it is safe for a child’s size and frame. AEDs are not recommended to be used on babies under one year of age.


Who can use an AED?

AEDs have been designed to ensure they can be used by anyone no matter what level of experience. While some models include a visual guide, all units have a voice prompt to guide you through each step of the rescue process from applying the electrode pads, to administering a shock; some even have a metronome to help you provide effective CPR in the correct rhythm. 

Though AEDs have been designed to be as simple to use as possible, we do recommend that you invest in CPR and AED training when you purchase an AED. The training provided is typically 4 hours long and will help you familiarise yourself with the device, become confident with the steps of the rescue process and how to perform effective CPR. 


Do I still need to call 999/112 for an ambulance?

Yes. Whilst early CPR and defibrillation are key for a higher chance of survival, a victim will still need medical attention as well as oxygen and cardiac drugs. Understanding the chain of survival ensures a successful resuscitation, this is made up of four stages; Early Access, Early CPR, Early Defibrillation and Early Advanced Life Support. It is best to call for help immediately when you notice the victim is unconscious and not breathing, if there is two of you present, one should seek help and telephone an ambulance whilst the other begins early CPR. 


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