Operating An AED

April 3, 2014Comments Off on Operating An AED

Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of mortality all over the world. In a sudden cardiac arrest, the patient’s heart is unable to pump enough blood to the whole body causing tissue necrosis. This, in turn, could lead to death of the person, which actually happens in majority of the cases. Although Sudden Cardiac Arrest happens instantaneously, there are still some warning signs that one can look out for. This would include shortness of breath, fatigue and general body weakness,  chest pains, and heart palpitations. Because of the gravity of this condition, a person who is suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest need to be attended to immediately. First responders as well as those within the immediate vicinity of the victim, fortunately, can depend on one portable device when it comes to jumpstarting the heart – the AED.

AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is a portable and simple device that one can use in order to “re-start” the heart. It is a good thing to note, however, that the AED is not for everyone. It is only recommended for those suffering from cardiac arrhythmia of the ventricular fibrillation as well as ventricular tachycardia. With the use of an AED, electricity is applied indirectly to the heart in order to give it the chance to resume normal beating patterns. Now, in the case of patients who have already flatlined, there is a need first to apply CPR before defibrillators, like the AED, can be applied.

AEDs usually come with electrodes or pads, a digital console, and a wire that connects the pads to the console. Because of its portability as well as the simplicity of its design, the AED is always thought of as something that can be operated easily. In truth, you have to keep a few things in mind while operating it. For example, if the victim is wearing bras with metal underwire or has any kind of metal piercing in the torso area, these would have to be removed first. The victim would also have to lie on a flat surface away from any body if liquid. As much as possible, there should be no one else touching the victim to prevent any untoward incident.

Upon turning the device on, the first thing that you would be asked to do is to open the victim’s clothing so that his or her chest is exposed. You also have to make sure that the chest area is dry. If the victim is wearing metal necklace or has a bra with an underwire, you would need to take these off. Once done, place the right pad above the right nipple and the other pad on the below the left nipple on the leftmost side of the rib cage. If the victim has hair chests, you might need to shave the concerned area first. In most cases, the AED comes with a kit for situations like this. Make sure that the pads have good skin contact. The AED would most probably flash a “check electrode” message if the pads do not have sufficient skin contact. The machine would then start to analyze the situation of the victim and would provide instructions on what needs to be done next. If there is a need for a shock, the machine would then ask you to push a specific button.

If you would like to learn more about AED, Citywide CPR would definitely a big help. You can also seek their services when it comes to securing a CPR certification.