A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Use of a defibrillator, combined with CPR, is the only effective treatment for a person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA is a condition where the heart either stops or beats in such a chaotic way it doesn’t pump blood around the body. It can happen to anyone of any age and often without warning. SCA remains the UK’s single biggest cause of death, killing approximately 60,000 people each year. Nationally, the average survival rates from SCA outside of hospital are around 7% but it’s possible to increase survival rates to more than 60% if CPR and a defibrillator are used prior to the ambulance arriving.

We are running a campaign to increase the number of public access defibrillators (PADs) in the city so that more life-saving help is available to anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

Using a PAD

PADs are stored in locked cabinets. When you dial 999 to report that someone has collapsed, the operator will advise you where your nearest one is and give you the code to unlock it. This means they’re safe from tampering.

The operator will stay on the phone whilst you help the individual but the defibrillator also gives clear verbal instructions and is very easy to use.

The defibrillator won’t deliver a shock if the person’s heart is beating and it won’t work if the pads haven’t been positioned correctly so you can’t harm anyone.

Where are defibrillators located in Portsmouth?

To find out where defibrillators are near you, visit the British Heart Foundation website.

If you’re aware of a defibrillator in an office, school or community/leisure building you use, please email defib@scas.nhs.uk to make sure it’s on the South Central Ambulance Service database.

How can I get involved in the campaign?

Please contact defibrillators@portsmouthcc.gov.uk if you would like to find out more about:

  • Getting a defibrillator for your organisation, school or community building
  • Fundraising for a defibrillator
  • Sponsoring a defibrillator in your local area

We can provide:

  • Ability to purchase a defibrillator at a discounted cost
  • Access to a provider to install your defibrillator
  • Opportunities for CPR training
  • Details of how you could sponsor a defibrillator
  • Potential funding for a defibrillator if it’s in one of the key need areas in the city