An AED or Automated External Defibrillator will help you or anyone experiencing a cardiac arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat that may result to cardiac arrest or heart attack. AED is a special computerized medical tool that will examine your heartbeat and will give your heart an electrical shock to help it pump again. Below are instructions and tips on how to use an AED.
- Determine the situation of the person in need. If the person is not breathing, if there are no obvious signs of pulse, and CPR associated compressions and rescue breathing are not working, then it is time to use an AED unit. Remember that CPR consists of 30 compressions from 1 and a half to 2 inches deep. Follow it up with 2 rescue breaths.
- Do not forget to check for any signs of life. To observe breathing, simply put your hand on the forehead of the victim, while putting two fingers of your other hand on the chin of the victim. If the chest of the victim is not rising, then send someone immediately to call 911 and find an AED unit quickly. Remember that in every minute that an AED unit is not applied, 10% of the victim’s chances of survival is lost.
- Find an AED unit. There are AED units on all emergency vehicles and hospitals. You can also find them in public access units like government and corporate offices like governmental offices, airports, shopping centers, restaurants, sports stadiums, hotels, schools and universities, health clubs, fitness centers, workplaces and different other locations where people congregate. An AED unit has a logo of a lightning bolt inside a heart.
- Use the AED unit. Ensure that you are in a safe place like a sidewalk in using an AED unit, and tell people watching to stand back. Use the unit to diagnose the cardiac rhythms of the victim. If there is no detection, then use the unit to administer electrical therapy to reestablish the heart rhythm of the victim.
- Find and follow the instructions on how to use the AED machine, which you can find on the machine itself. Take away any metal from the chest of the victim like piercings and underwire bra because it will interfere with the defibrillator’s proper function. If the chest of the victim is hairy, then use a razor to shave two spots where you will put the pads of the AED machine. Put the pads on the lower left and the upper right side part of the victim’s bare chest. The pads have electrodes that will shock the heart to get it back to its normal rhythm. The AED unit will indicate if there is a need for an electrical shock. There are times that you only need one electrical shock to help the person, so put extra attention on the command of the AED unit. Just continue following the commands of the AED machine via display, voice or both while waiting for an ambulance. Ensure that nobody is touching the victim during the operation.
If you are alone in a situation where somebody needs help and you cannot decide if there is a need to use an AED unit, immediately find or call someone for help. It is better if you will take CPR classes because you might be in a situation where you need to help someone who is experiencing a heart failure and there is no one around and you are far from an AED unit.