An Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, is used to help restore the chance of survival for patients as first responders push a button on the device to analyze the heart of the patient having a sudden cardiac arrest. This small device helps the heart’s normal rhythm when the rescuer uses the AED to generate electrical impulses and normalize the patient’s heart’s rhythm. The AEDs with this shock button are user-friendly when you use them on the patient to regularize their heartbeat instead of just relying on chest compressions. By following a few easy steps, like analyzing the patient before using an AED to analyze the heart rhythm, you can potentially save the life of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest. In simple words, when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs are used to increase the survival rate and help analyze the heart rhythm simultaneously instead of simply relying on chest compressions when the rescuer gets tired.
However, everyone who comes into contact with the person undergoing AED treatment (or water or metal the patient may come into contact with) is at risk of receiving an electric shock as they push a button. Therefore, it is essential that we adhere to a few strict AED safety tips to ensure chest compressions are given safely to the patient.
AEDs are commonly found in homes, offices, churches, and other areas without qualified medical staff. While anyone may use an AED instead of thinking to touch the patient directly and save their life, there is a slight learning curve to consider, especially its safety aspects.
Due to the fact that AEDs provide an electrical shock to the heart muscles, improper use can be harmful to both the caregiver and the individual on whom the AED is being used. So, the layperson must not touch the patient when they receive the electric shock to be safe.
This blog post will demonstrate how to use a defibrillator safely and effectively.
AEDs should not be used on a victim if a pulse can still be felt, as it could worsen their condition. If a pulse is not evident, the device can then be set up and activated to determine if there is any heart activity at all. The AED will confirm the lack of a pulse and the need for defibrillation.
When to Use an AED
The initial step is to ascertain whether a defibrillator is indeed necessary. An AED should be used only on someone who is unconscious and not breathing due to abrupt cardiac arrest. It should never be used on a patient who is still aware and breathing after suffering a heart attack. If someone is in cardiac arrest, they will be unresponsive, with no detectable pulse and no breathing or only gasping for air.
Begin by calling out the victim’s name and asking for a response while gently shaking the victim’s shoulders. Check for evidence of breathing after that. Only administer CPR and defibrillation if the person is not breathing and is not responding to your commands. Find out more in our complete guide to AED and CPR here https://cprcare.com/understanding-the-process-of-cpr-and-aed-training/
Remove your hands from the patient’s skin and step back a few steps before delivering the shock. Instruct any observers to keep their distance as well. The fact that a defibrillator sends live voltage to a patient’s heart makes it important that no one comes into direct contact with the patient’s skin during this critical period of time. Ensure that no part of the patient’s body is submerged in water.
V-fib occurs when the heart continues to receive nerve signals from the brain despite being in an irregular rhythm.
These impulses are just firing in such a disorganized manner that the heart is unable to make a “beat,” and it is unable to discharge enough blood to maintain the circulatory system (and hence oxygen) circulating throughout the body. After 4-6 minutes of oxygen deprivation, brain cells begin to die as a result of cell death.
Heart twitching will continue until the heart no longer receives electrical impulses from the brain (and thus stops completely), or until the heart is shocked back into a normal rhythm, which is where an AED can help.
The use of an AED shocks the heart, causing it to stop spasming.
When the heart beats at its normal rate, the nerve impulses have an opportunity to return to their normal pattern, allowing the heart to resume beating at its normal rate.
Watching Out for Water
Water, in its purest form, has the property of being an electrical insulator.
It should not be able to conduct electricity or allow current to pass through it, in other words, it should be nonconductive. The components dissolved in water, specifically the ions in it, are the ones that pose the most threat.
Despite the fact that pure water does not transmit electricity, this type of water is not seen in nature. In fact, the vast majority of the water that we come into touch with — whether it is tap water, bottled drinking water, or rain water – contains ions originating from a variety of different places.
Our comprehensive CPR course covers proper AED use and operation so that you can effectively save lives. Take our course right now to master using an AED!