Waikawa Beach has a defibrillator in a lockbox on the side of the changing rooms at Hank Edwards Reserve, but would you know when you might need to use it? Here’s some guidance.
A defibrillator delivers a safe electric shock to restart a heart that has stopped beating. WebMD says:
The first step in saving a life is being able to recognize an emergency. Know the warning signs of a heart attack. Anyone who is unresponsive should receive emergency care. If you are with someone who complains of chest pain and then collapses, odds are he or she is having a heart attack or is in cardiac arrest. If possible, have someone else call  while you start CPR.
How to use a defibrillator
The 111 operator will talk you through how to start CPR and the AED has instructions on how to use it. It involves placing pads on a person’s chest, letting the AED analyse what’s needed and then pressing a button if the machine instructs you to.
Why do I need an AED?
St John’s says:
- Each year more than 2,000 New Zealanders will suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital
- For 64% of cardiac arrests a bystander will perform CPR
- People may show no warnings or prior symptoms and 15% survive to hospital discharge following a cardiac arrest
- Use of an AED within 3-5 min of collapse can increase the chance of survival by up to 40%