Saving lives, everywhere: Where's your nearest defibrillator?

  (photo credit: PR)
(photo credit: PR)

Three simple stages. That's all that's needed to save the life of someone who's just had a cardiac arrest. Anyone can do it using a defibrillator Magen David Adom (MDA) has installed all over the country. They are accessible to anyone who needs them.

Not everyone dreams of being a doctor but we can all save lives through simple steps. You can be that person. Of course, you need to be in a situation in which you'll have to perform certain actions. It is exactly because of that that over the last two years, MDA – in partnership with Mifal HaPayis and the local authorities – has installed more than 1,000 "smart stations" connected to MDA's 101 emergency call center and containing a life-saving defibrillator device.

The defibrillator is the device designed to help save lives in case of a cardiac arrest, one of the leading causes of death in Israel from which hundreds die every month. Fast action in a short time can be the difference between life and death and even prevent brain damage.

To save lives using the defibrillator you need to follow three simple steps. First, call 101, so first responders can get to the scene as quickly as possible and the medic answering your call can help you act in the right way. After that, start performing resuscitation by pressing on the person's chest. If you don’t know how to do that, the medic on the phone will guide you through it.

The third step is using the defibrillator to initiate an electric shock to the patient. The MDA defibrillators are spread around the country in accessible public places, in closed buildings and outside. The person who takes your call will direct you to the nearest device and save you precious time looking.

Anyone can use the defibrillator and you don’t need any prior experience or training. It's easy to save a life. After turning the device on, just listen to the audio instructions and act accordingly. The defibrillator doesn't only know how to guide you, but also to assess the patient's situation and to know whether you need to give him or her an electric shock. In addition, there are illustrations designed to help you use the device correctly. The defibrillator even warns you to keep your distance from the patient when it is administering the electric shock.

In normal times, it is important to check where your nearest defibrillator is located, so that in a genuine emergency, you'll know where to run and not waste valuable time. It's a short check, one you can do using the "Eifo Defi" (Where's Defi) app, which will show you where one of MDA's many devices are in your area, so you can act fast and save lives. If you find a device that does not appear on the app, you can add it yourself, and help others save lives too.

"The defibrillator is a wonderful tool that transforms the ordinary citizen who suddenly finds him or herself near a person in distress into an extension of MDA's life-saving mission," says MDA's Director-General, Eli Bean. "The goal is to distribute as many devices as possible so anyone can easily start administering help within seconds. Through the help of the people on the street, at work or in places of entertainment, we can all become part of a winning team that provides a medical response in record time."

Ashalom Kor

So all you need to do is to know where your nearest device is, to remember the three steps, and at the right time, with MDA's help, you can save a life without knowing the first thing about medicine!

Help us Place Life-saving Defibrillators in Public Spaces!

This article was written in cooperation with Magen David Adom