Defibrillators in Orkney.

Someone having a heart attack does not necessarily need a defibrillator, it is normally needed when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. If they are breathing and conscious they would not require a defibrillator.

The usual process, if someone is suspected of having a cardiac event, is to phone 999, and the call centre can advise you were the nearest defibrillator is located and supply the unlock code if it is required. Calling 999 also ensures medical assistance is on the way

Once switched on the defibrillator will talk you through the whole process and if needed guide you through CPR. There is no need to be concerned about wrongly shocking a patient as the defibrillator analyses the situation and will not allow a shock to be administered if it is not required. Depending on the type of defibrillator you may be ask to press a button to administer the shock (which tends to be the most common and preferred option) or it will happen automatically.

Getting a machine.

The defib store has been used by people in Orkney. They are used to sending the machines with the Lithium batteries to Orkeny.

Defibs recently purchased (April 2023) are the iPAD SP1 semi-automatic units by CU medical Systems and the cabinet was the defibstore 4000

The prices quoted on defib store are – iPad SP1 £1134 (including VAT) , and 4000 cabinet £598.80. Replacement pads cost £66 and battery £246 All prices include VAT, Defibstore are offering free shipping at the moment.

One advantage of the iPAD SP1 is that you can switch between infant (under 8 years old) and adult modes.

The defib should be registered with “The Circuit” which allows the emergency services to know its location and availability and they can allow public access when required. This does require a responsible person to log on to the web site at regular intervals to confirm the defib is in good order and available.


A weekly health check of the defibrillator (usually indicated by a green light).

A monthly check to make sure the key-press combination lock is in working order, and a light spray of WD40 to the combination lock and hinges.

Replace the pads every 2 years (£65).

Replace the battery – about 4-5 years (£100 – £200).

The external cabinet should have a main s supply so a small thermostatically controlled heater can maintain good storage conditions for the defibrillator.

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