How Do You Use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

January 30, 2023

Automated external defibrillators have changed the way cardiac emergencies are handled. They help improve patients’ survival rates by providing immediate care and ensuring an efficient response during a cardiac emergency. These can be easily carried, owing to their small size and lightweight. An AED is a portable device used in cardiac emergencies to help save an individual’s life by sending a strong electrical current to the heart. The best part is you don’t need to be a medical professional to use an AED. With the proper instructions and guidance, even an untrained individual can use it in times of need.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use an automated external defibrillator from AED Advantage Sales Ltd.:

Step 1: Get the AED Kit

Retrieve the AED kit from your emergency supplies or first aid kit. Ensure that all of the necessary equipment and materials are included.

Step 2: Open the AED Case

Carefully open the case to expose the AED pads and other necessary components. Please ensure you are familiar with the different parts of the AED and how to use them.

Step 3: Dry the Person’s Chest

If the person’s chest is wet or damp, use a towel or other dry material to pat it and remove any excess moisture gently.

Step 4: Remove Medication Patches

If the person is wearing any medication patches or other medical devices, remove them carefully before applying the AED pads.

Step 5: Open the AED Pads

Open the AED pads by gently peeling off the backing. Check to ensure they are in good condition and that the electrode wires are securely attached to the AED box.

Step 6: Apply the Pads to the Person’s Chest

Place one pad on the upper right chest, right above the breastbone. Apply the second pad on the lower left chest below the armpit. Be sure to position the pads to make good contact with the person’s skin.

Step 7: Check for Any Pacemakers or Internal Defibrillators

Before using the AED on a person, it is vital to check for any pacemakers or other internal medical devices that might be affected by the electric shock from the device.

Step 8: Ensure that the Wires are Attached to the AED Box

Ensure that the AED pads are appropriately connected to the AED box, and then secure any loose wires or cables, so they do not get in the way during use.

Step 9: Clear Away from the Person

Once you have applied the AED pads to the person’s chest, you should move away from them to avoid being shocked yourself. Ensure no one else touches the patient or getting too close.

Step 10: Let the AED Analyze the Person’s Heart Rhythm

Once the electrodes are in place and you have cleared away from the person, press the “analyze” button on the AED to let it evaluate their heart rhythm. Depending on the results, you may need to continue CPR or press the “shock” button to deliver an electric shock to the person’s heart.

Step 11: Resume CPR

Once the AED has delivered any necessary shocks to the person’s heart, you should resume CPR for at least 2 minutes, starting with chest compressions. Repeat the steps above as needed until emergency medical help arrives.

Tips and Best Practices for Using an AED Safely

Now that you know how to use the AED safely and effectively, here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:

  • Always make sure you have a working AED on hand at all times. This means keeping it charged and stored in a clean, dry location that is easily accessible during an emergency.
  • Always ensure you are familiar with the AED and know how to use it correctly. Be sure to practice using the device regularly to perform it quickly and accurately during an emergency.
  • When using an AED on a person, make sure to clear away from them and avoid being shocked yourself. This means positioning yourself to the side and watching for any warning signs, such as sparks or smoke from the AED.
  • Always follow any instructions provided by the AED after it has delivered shocks to the person’s heart. This may include continuing CPR or performing other necessary steps to help stabilize the person until emergency medical services arrive.

Overall, using an AED is an important skill to have for anyone who may encounter someone experiencing cardiac arrest. Whether you are a first responder, a healthcare professional, or a bystander in the community, using an AED safely and effectively can help improve outcomes for people in cardiac arrest. Following the steps outlined above, you can feel confident using an AED safely and effectively when needed.

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