What does AED stand for?
AED stands for “automated external defibrillator,” is a medical device designed to analyze an individual’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock to restore the heart to a normal rhythm if needed.
Who can use an AED?
AEDs in public locations are designed for use by non-medical personnel who have been properly trained. Providing defibrillation will greatly increase the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim.
How does an AED work?
Pads are connected to the AED and are placed on the individual as directed. The AED will then analyze the person’s heart rhythm and determine if defibrillation (an electric shock to the heart) is needed. The AED will guide the user through the defibrillation process.
Can an AED be used in water?
If a person is submerged in water, they need to be pulled out of it and the skin where the AED pads will be placed needs to be wiped dry. If there is water on the chest, the shock will travel through the water instead of the heart muscle.
Can an AED be used on an infant?
An AED should be used on an infant that is in cardiac arrest. Pediatric pads are recommended for infants, but adult pads may be used if the AED is not equipped with pediatric-sized pads. It is important to remember that the pads should not touch each other. Therefore, one pad may be placed on the infant’s chest and one on the back.
Do I perform CPR or use an AED first?
911 should be called before performing CPR or using an automated external defibrillator. If an AED is immediately accessible, it should be used right away. Most likely, an AED will not be close enough and CPR should be started first. If there are bystanders, they should be directed to get an AED while CPR is being performed.
Is it okay to use an AED when there is a pacemaker?
Yes, an automated external defibrillator can be used when there is a pacemaker in place. The pads should be placed in a position so that they do not come into contact with the pacemaker. The device will be visible and is usually located on the upper left side of the individual’s chest.
What happens if someone touches the victim while the AED is shocking?
No one should touch the victim while the AED is analyzing or delivering defibrillation. The AED will advise everyone to stay clear, and this should be emphasized by the operator. If someone is in contact with the victim during the shock, they will most likely receive a shock as well and may become seriously injured.
Why is defibrillation important during cardiac arrest?
During cardiac arrest, the heart goes into ventricular fibrillation, which is an abnormal heart rhythm. Since the heart is not beating normally, it can’t pump blood. The AED will deliver a shock to the heart muscle, stopping all activity. This will give the heart an opportunity to resume a normal rhythm.
Where should AEDs be located?
It is strongly recommended that AEDs are located in public areas such as gyms, sports arenas, schools, shopping malls, airports, doctor’s offices, as well as police and fire stations/rescue vehicles and other public places.