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Can a Defibrillator Restart a Stopped Heart

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is designed to send an electrical current to the heart. One of its goals it to return the heartbeat to a normal rhythm. The heart may be experiencing arrythmia or an irregular heartbeat, which may lead to a sudden cardiac arrest.

When defibrillator pads are applied to the patient, the defibrillator will analyse the patient to determine if a shock is required, to assist in restoring the hearts normal rhythm. If a shock is required, the defibrillator will advise the rescuer. Likewise, if a shock is not required, it will also advise the rescuer.

If a shock is required, the defibrillator will send an electrical current to the patient via the electrode pads that have been applied to patient. Most brands of public access defibrillators will have a visual and/or audible guide on where to correctly place the self-adhesive pads on the patient, so that the patient can be analysed, prior to the shock being delivered.

To be effective in restoring a heart to its normal rhythm, the heart must contain some form of electrical activity so that the defibrillator can shock the heart to restore its normal rhythm. Where the patient has suffered a cardiac arrest and as a result is no longer experiencing a heartbeat, can the defibrillator restart a stopped heart? A defibrillator will not restart a completely stopped heart.

As previously mentioned, the defibrillator will assess the patient, and only deliver a shock if required. If there is no electrical activity, the defibrillator will advise the rescuer that a shock is not required. In this case, commence CPR to keep the patient’s blood and oxygen flowing as best you can until emergency services arrive on the scene.

Does a Defibrillator Restart Your Heart

When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the heart will commence beating erratically, this is known as fibrillation, e.g., a quivering of the heart, and in many cases a rapidly increasing heart rhythm. When this occurs, it reduces the patients oxygenated blood being pumped around the body.

Unlike the previous scenario where a heart has completely stopped, a defibrillator is designed to reset a heart which is beating erratically. To do so, the defibrillator will deliver an electrical shock to the patient to interrupt the irregular heartbeat with the aim to restore the heartbeat to its normal rhythm.

Getting Involved & Raising Awareness

Restart a Heart Day is an initiative created to raise awareness around sudden cardiac arrest, the importance of learning CPR, and the benefits of using a defibrillator, and having a defibrillator nearby in an emergency.

It is a welcome initiative to help alert and educate the general public that life saving skills are important, and accessible, and that a public access defibrillator is designed with ease of use in mind, and can be used by even the untrained user.

To learn more about Restart a Heart Day, as well as out of hospital survival rates and other key statistics, we highly recommend visiting for more information, and how you can get involved.

With public access defibrillators designed to be user friendly, increasingly becoming affordable, now is a good time to consider owning one for your home or your workplace. Many Human Resources and Work, Health and Safety professionals are introducing defibrillators into the workplace.

We view this as a positive step toward increasing the work, health and safety of employees and visitors to the workplace.

If you would like to find out more, or require a recommendation, feel free to contact the team at Defibs Direct, we are here to help.

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