How to use an AED

 

What is an AED?

 

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)  is specialized medical device created to recognize and treat certain heart rhythms for a person in cardiac arrest. 

 

An AED  delivers  an electrical shock to persons in ventricular fibrillation(V-Fib) or ventricular tachycardia(V-Tach) two of the most common treatable abnormal heart rhythms  initially present in cardiac arrest victims.

 

An AED uses auditory and visual prompts to tell the rescuer what steps to take, to assist  in treating a cardiac arrest.  AEDs have been shown to decrease mortality when used  in conjunction with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) especially  when the arrest is  witnessed.

 

Why use an AED?

 

Using a AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and understanding the importance of early CPR and defibrillation will increase the chances of saving the life of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.  AED’s are accurate and easy to use, most people can operate an AED with very little training.

 

An AED will recognize cardiac arrest and give an electric shock if needed to a heart in an abnormal rhythm that has stopped pumping blood.

 

Who do you use an AED on?

 

Use an AED with an dose attenuator on an infant under one year of age.

 

Some AEDs can deliver a smaller shock for children ages 1-8, and have child pads or a child switch. Do not use child pads for victims ages 8 or older.

 

You can use adult pads on victims ages 1-8 if child pads are not available,  just make sure the pads do not touch each other.

 

There are many different brands of AEDs but they all use the same basics steps.

 

When the rescuer arrives with an AED, CPR should already be in progress.

 

How to use an AED:

1.  Turn on AED.

 

2.  Select proper AED Pads (Adult or Child) and place pads correctly according to the picture on each pad. Some electrodes will be connected to machine and some have to be plugged in after pads are applied to patients bare chest chest.

 

3.  Remove clothing to apply sticky side of pads directly to patients bare chest as shown.

 

Special considerations when applying pads:

 

  • If victims chest is wet quickly wipe off before applying pads.

 If there is a medicine patch where pads need to be placed remove and wipe chest.

 • If there is a pacemaker or defibrillator a lump under skin place pads an inch away.

 • If the patient has a hairy chest shave the chest before applying pads or if the AED prompts bad connection pull pads off to remove hair re apply new pads in same place

 

4.  Clear making sure no one is touching the victim, to allow AED to analyze heart rhythm.

 

5.  Stay Clear making sure no one touches the patient during a shock. Some AED’s are fully automated it will automatically give a shock, others you will have to push the flashing button when prompted to do so.

 

6.  After the shock is given, if no shock is needed and no pulse is felt start compressions.

 

7.  Continue with steps of CPR, Give 5 cycles of CPR about 2 minutes, and follow AED instructions, until advanced help arrives.

 

 

For more information and references:

 

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3011859

http://www.foh.dhhs.gov/public/whatwedo/aed/fohfaq.asp

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