Automated External Defibrillator (AED)


Ventricular Tachycardia is a rapid heartbeat that begins at the bottom chambers of the heart, named Ventricles. Ventricles are the main heart's main chambers which pump. Ventricular Tachycardia can be very life-threatening because it can lead to Ventricular Fibrillation.

Ventricular Fibrillation is when the cardiac muscles quiver rather than contract. Ventricular Fibrillation requires immediate medical response. If the patient receives no attention he/she will fall degenerate with no blood circulation. After 4 minutes serious brain damage can occur and after 8 minutes brain damage is likely to be severe and can result in death.

What Does AED Stand For? Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Guidelines

When should an AED be used?

CPR is a very important action when saving a patient’s life. However, an AED is crucial towards regaining the natural rhythm of the heartbeat as well as restarting the patient’s heart. CPR should be performed if the patient is non-responsive and not breathing and an AED should be applied after performing CPR. If the AED does not bring the patient back to consciousness CPR should be re-administered. It’s crucial to call 911 or any Emergency Medical Service (EMS) before performing CPR or applying an AED.

How to use an AED

Turn on the AED – Usually there will be an “On” button but in some cases there might be a lever. Remove all clothing from the patient’s arms, chest and abdomen—whether male or female. Attach pads to bare skin on the chest. Make sure to use the appropriate system for the child or adult (an AED should not be used on an infant). Place the left pad under the left armpit—to the left of the nipple and right pad under the collarbone on the right side of the chest. Make sure to place the pads at least one inch away from any implanted devices. Next, connect the wiring. Analyze the patient’s heart rhythm. Make sure you DO NOT touch the patient during the defibrillator process. If the AED does not begin analyzing automatically make sure to press the analyze button. If a shock is advised then push the shock button.

Make sure your patient is cleared of any debris such as: metal, large amounts of water, etc…

For Infants

If the pads are able to touch make sure to place one pad directly on the back of the infant.

Newer AED’s only shock once; however, some models do shock up to 3 times. If the patient is shocked but doesn’t regain a pulse immediately perform CPR for 2 minutes. If a shock is not advised continue CPR. Make sure to stay clear of any large amounts of water or any metals. Make sure to shave the patient, if needed, when using an AED. Make sure to place the pads at least one inch away from any implanted devices or Transdermal medication patches (or remove patch).

Note: Before using an AED physical training is recommended.

Resuscitation (special circumstances)

Drowning: make sure to remove the patient’s wet clothing and replace it with something warm and dry. Make sure to perform rescue breaths if the patient is unconscious. If rescue breaths aren’t accessible make sure to perform chest compressions.

Trauma: make sure to use the jaw-thrust maneuver when performing the airway task. Make sure to check for any injuries, such as: head, spinal and neck, to maintain patient's protection.

Electroshock: make sure to check for safety before attempting any performance on the patient. Make sure the patient isn’t near any electrical currents or fuse boxes. CPR is priority 1 for Cardiac arrest patient’s, burns, scrapes and other bodily harms aren’t considered priority 1. If the patient is unresponsive or pulse less, perform CPR.

Rescuers should be physically & mentally fit as well as skillfully prepared and readied for emergency responses. Rescuers should be knowledgeable of all equipment necessary for usage, beforehand.