Automated External Defibrillator (AED):
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a device used in sudden cases of cardiac arrest. It helps analyze a person’s heart rate for irregularities, and if needed, can shock a heart back into rhythm. Following these steps can ensure that you know how to properly operate an AED and render aid when needed:
- Call 9-1-1, or have someone call for you. The 9-1-1 dispatcher can also assist you with care if needed.
- Determine if an AED needs to be used. The following are situations in which an AED should be used:
- The person is unresponsive and not breathing or not breathing normally.
- The person's pulse is not detectable.
- The person has collapsed and is not responding to any stimuli.
- Check your environment. If the environment is not safe, move the person to a safer location.
- Each AED is different. Read the instructions printed on the AED. Most AEDs provide voice prompts to guide anyone through the process.
- Expose the person’s chest and attach the pads on the patient’s upper-right chest and lower-left ribcage. The pads will analyze the heart rhythm and advise if a shock is needed.
- If a shock is advised, ensure nobody is touching the patient, and press the shock button.
- If no shock is advised, begin CPR until emergency services arrive.
- The AED will continue to monitor the patient and will announce if a shock is necessary.
The AED is crucial to immediate care for cardiac arrest patients. By following these steps, you can successfully assist someone having a possible cardiac arrest by using an AED.