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Understanding the Basics of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

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Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are devices used to help those suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. During a cardiac arrest, a person’s heart suddenly stops beating. Lack of timely treatment can lead to fatal emergencies. During such times, AED proves to be extremely helpful.

Every year, over 18,000 Americans suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. A study revealed that the timely use of a defibrillator increases the chances of survival. With the use of defibrillators, bystanders save an additional 1,700 lives every year in the US.

An AED is a life-saving device that helps restore the heart’s normal rhythm. It is a portable, lightweight device that can be carried with you when needed. With easy-to-use functionalities, it can be used by anyone.

American HealthCare Academy trains people on how to effectively use an AED. You can register yourself on the website and opt for an AED course from AHCA.

What is an AED?

An automated external defibrillator is a portable medical device used during cardiac arrest. It helps to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm.

It is designed to detect abnormal heart rhythms. It delivers an electric shock to the heart, which restores the normal rhythm.

AEDs are increasingly used in public places. You can find them at airports, shopping malls, and office buildings. It provides the quickest possible response to cardiac arrest.

An AED is a safe and effective tool that can be used by anyone with minimal training. The device is typically easy to use. It includes voice or visual prompts that guide the user through the process of:

  • Analysing the heart rhythm
  • Delivering a shock, if necessary
  • Providing CPR

Steps to use AED in an emergency

When an individual is experiencing a cardiac arrest, follow the below-mentioned steps to use an AED:

  • Check the scene for safety.
  • Call 911 and follow their instructions.
  • If an AED is available, activate it and follow the audio prompts. (Note: The AED will provide verbal instructions on how to use it. It will also provide instructions on how to attach the pads to the patient’s chest.)
  • If the victim is an adult (age 8 or older), attach the AED pads to the victim’s bare chest.
  • If the victim is a child (age 1–8), use the AED pads designed for pediatric use.
  • Stand back while the AED analyses the victim’s heart rhythm.
  • If a shock is advised, press the button on the AED to deliver the shock. It will help restore a normal heart rhythm.
  • Continue CPR until help arrives or the victim begins to show signs of life.
  • Monitor the victim until help arrives.

Precautions to be taken while using AED

When using an AED, some important precautions should be taken.

  • The person using the AED should be properly trained to use the device.
  • Read the instruction manual and become familiar with the AED before using it.
  • Make sure that the patient is lying flat on a hard surface.
  • Check for metal on the patient’s body and remove it, if any.
  • Ensure that the patient is wearing minimal clothing to avoid interference with the electrodes.
  • Make sure that no water or moisture is present on the patient’s chest.
  • Attach the electrodes to the patient’s bare chest. Follow the diagram in the instruction manual for the same.
  • Follow the instruction manual closely to ensure proper operation of the AED.
  • Do not touch or move the patient during CPR or an AED operation.
  • Do not use the AED on a person underwater or in the bath.
  • If the AED advises you to stop CPR, do not start it again until the AED is reset.
  • After using the AED, dispose of the electrodes and pads. Replace them with new ones.
  • AED should be stored in a dry, safe place away from children and pets.
  • Ensure that the AED is properly maintained and all the parts are in working order.

AEDs are an important tool in saving lives during cardiac arrest. It is important to know how to use an AED in case of an emergency. With proper training, anyone can help save a life. AHCA offers hands-on training to help people use AEDs. You also receive a certification from us when you successfully complete the course.

Sign up for your certification course today and contribute to saving lives!