Where do defib pads go?

Posted on 29 May 2024

A defibrillator can be crucial when it comes to saving a life in a sudden cardiac event. As a vital component of first aid, defibrillators empower first responders to administer life-saving treatment, even if they haven’t had medical training. 

CPR First Aid Training Concept

Modern defibrillators are designed for ease of use. They provide clear audio and visual instructions, ensuring you can confidently use them. Some models even guide you in performing CPR correctly before professional medical help arrives.  

To ensure the best possible outcome for the casualty, it’s crucial that the defib pads are placed correctly to make sure they are as effective as possible. Let’s take a look at where defib pads should go. 

While many defibrillators will deliver instructions on where to place the defib pads on the chest, it’s important to understand the differences between using them on adults, pregnant women, children, and infants in most cases. Placing defib pads in the wrong place can make the electric shocks less effective and even dangerous. 

Here, the team at Turtle Engineering explores in more detail.

The correct placement of defib pads on adults

In most cases, adults usually require an anterior lateral placement for their defib pads. The first defib pad should be placed on the right side of the chest below the collarbone but above the right nipple. The second pad then goes on the lower part of the left chest wall. Alternatively, the second pad could be placed on the left side of the ribcage, a few inches below the left armpit.

Ensuring safety during a medical emergency is paramount. It’s crucial to avoid any contact between the pads and jewellery or metallic objects, as metals conduct electricity and can pose risks. Additionally, if the casualty has a pacemaker, it’s safe to use a defib, but the pad should be placed at least one inch below the implanted medical device.

Using defib pads on a pregnant woman

Using a defibrillator on a pregnant woman is safe and follows the same principles as with adults. However, there’s a specific consideration for women, whether pregnant or not. The second pad should always be placed underneath the breast for the best chance of success. 

Placing defib pads on children and infants 

It is essential to make sure you are using the correct type of pads when using a defibrillator on children between the ages of one and eight. Paediatric pads are smaller than adult pads and can be placed more effectively on children and infants.

For children and infants who experience a sudden cardiac event, one pad should be placed in the middle of their chest wall, and the other should be placed in the middle of their upper back. It is also vital to ensure you are using the paediatric setting on children and infants to ensure the energy is adjusted for a younger patient. 

Are you looking to buy a defibrillator? Contact Turtle Engineering

If you have any questions about our wide range of defibrillators and replacement pads or need help choosing the right one for your needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Turtle Engineering. A friendly member of our team will be happy to assist you to ensure you make the right choice.