Restart a heart
Defibrillators in Redbridge
We have joined forces with the London Hearts campaign to install 30 public access defibrillators in local communities across the borough. The new life-saving equipment will be in easily accessible public places, to give immediate help to those who collapse from severe heart problems. The defibrillators will be available at all times and kept inside distinctive, yellow cabinets.
What is a defibrillator?
A Defibrillator is a device that works by giving a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall in someone in cardiac arrest. The high energy shock called defibrillation works by restoring the heart to a normal rhythm.
Defibrillators are designed to be used by people with little or no training, guiding the operator through the process by verbal instructions and visual prompts.
They are safe and will not allow a shock to be given unless the heart’s rhythm requires it, and can be used on adults and children (over 12 months of age).
London Hearts - using a defibrillator
What's the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack?
People often think that a cardiac arrest and a heart attack is the same thing, but this is not the case.
A heart attack happens when a clot in the coronary arteries cuts off the blood supplying the heart muscle, in most cases causing chest pain. The heart is still sending blood to the body and the person will be conscious and breathing.
A cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood around your body, commonly because of a problem with electrical signals in your heart. When your heart stops pumping blood, your brain is starved of oxygen. This causes you to fall unconscious and stop breathing.
A person having a heart attack has a high risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest.
Both a heart attack and a cardiac arrest are life-threatening medical emergencies and you should call 999 immediately.
In the event that you witness a person in cardiac arrest you should start CPR and on calling 999, ambulance operators will direct you to the nearest defibrillator and provide you with a code, to unlock the cabinet so you can access them quickly.
How to maintain a ‘Healthy Heart’
What causes a cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrests are most commonly caused by the abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF) which is where electrical activity of your heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or 'fibrillates' instead.
The most common cause of developing this abnormal heart rhythm is a heart attack. Other heart problems can also cause it including coronary heart disease, enlargement of the heart as part of the condition heart failure and heart valve disease.
You can lower your risk of developing heart disease by living a healthy lifestyle.
- stopping smoking – find out what support is available to help you stop smoking
- a healthy balanced diet - view our tips for healthy eating
- exercise regularly - 150 mins of moderate activity a week eg brisk walk, cycling – find out where the cycling centres are in Redbridge
- cut down alcohol - try not to exceed the limit of 14 alcohol units per week in men and women, or if you drink this amount try and spread it over 3 days – find out what about the support available for alcohol and drug use
Other causes of cardiac arrest include heart diseases you are born with including structural and electrical conduction problems, inflammation of the heart muscle, electrocution, drug overdose, losing a large amount of blood and drowning.
For further information visit these NHS web pages:
Find your nearest defibrillator
You can view the defibrillators that are currently available below, we will be updating the map as and when the additional defibrillators are rolled out.