An AED is an Automated External Defibrillator. It is a device that is usually about as big as a laptop though the cell AED is the size of a cell phone making it easier to travel with. It is a device used for a medical emergency where someone’s heart stops beating and needs to be restarted or when they start to experience irregular quivering, called V Fib. The AED shocks the heart with electricity to return it to a normal rhythm. When used within three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest a person has a much high chance of surviving, increasing by as much as 70%.
An overview of how to use the Automated External Defibrillator
If someone you are with has a cardiac arrest you will need to get the AED as quickly as you can while someone else calls in the emergency services. Then you need to;
- Turn on the AED by lifting the lid or pressing the on and off button.
- The cellaed will give you prompts on what to do next so follow its directions. These will include instructions such as placing the pads or electrodes on the victim’s bare skin with one on the right side of the chest up high and the other on the left chest, lower down.
- When these are placed you may need to put in the pad connector depending on whether it is already preconnected or not.
- Make sure no one is touching the victim and let the AED go through the stage of analysing. At this point, no one should be giving CPR at all as the device is evaluating the heart and whether it can be treated with a shock.
- At this point, the AED says whether the shock is needed and then a second time it will say that everyone needs to stay clear of the victim. If someone is in contact with them they will get a shock too that might even knock them out. When you can see there is no one touching them then you can press the button to deliver the shock, unless it is an automated cell aed in which case it will do it itself.
- Straight away after the shock has been administered you will then be told to carry on with CPR. You do not turn off the unit yet or even take off the pads yet. Everything should stay as it is while you start chest compressions until help arrives.
More and more homes and businesses have an AED or cellaed on their property in case someone needs it. It makes sense to invest in more modern versions that are up with what is known as the best approach to assistance. For example, some come with a CPR coaching feature which is very useful when people might not know exactly what to do, or the CPR they do know is out of date. It is also helpful to have one or more staff members go to training on used an AED as well as CPR so that they are confident in what to do should there be need.