The Know-Hows of Automated External Defibrillator
The magical electric-giving pads. This is how most TV series and films portray an Automated External Defibrillator most commonly referred to as AEDs. Unfortunately, this machine is not magical at all and no, it does not revive a patient. This is one of the most common misconception about how AEDs work. It is vital that everyone get a clear idea on the facts regarding this equipment that can extend a life, not bring it back.
Due to the developments to medical equipment, the manual defibrillator that can only be used within the vicinity of the hospital can now be used by more people. The AED is programmed in such a way that even people who have no proper training can give a shock to a patient in need of it. Due to its size and mobility features, more and more people can have access to AED. Therefore, making it possible to save more lives even when a cardiac arrest happens outside the vicinity of a hospital.
In many ways CPR and AED work together to increase the chances of survival of a cardiac arrest victim. There are times when an AED is not readily available and CPR is the best alternative. Administering CPR can ensure that there is at least minimal blood flow of oxygenated blood to vital organs such as the brain. In short, high quality CPR can buy a patient some time and even improve the chances of survival in AED. There has been a positive correlation to the quality of compressions to the success rate of AED on cardiac arrest patients.
It is only normal to have inhibitions on using AED since it involves an actual life. It can be overwhelming and this is why everyone can do with helpful facts and not on baseless hearsays. Shocks from AED are not harmful and the only thing that you can feel is a tinge when you are in contact with the patient. It is, however, better to practice precaution by wearing latex gloves if available. AEDs are very easy to use even without proper training. When in doubt, call 911 then utilize the AED. The operator as well as the guidelines in the equipment itself will guide you all throughout the process. Try to follow everything as dutifully as possible. When placing the pads on the victim’s chest, be sure to follow the diagram as closely as possible.
Certain situations that involve the current condition of the patient also comes into light when giving AED shocks. When the victim is a woman and is wearing a bra, move it upwards until it reaches the neck then follow the diagram on where the pads should be placed. In isolated cases of men with hairy chest, it is better to keep the hair out by shaving them off. Keep a shaver with the AED for these cases. Defibrillation works best in dry surfaces and if a victim is drenched in water, towel the chest area dry.
In general, having an AED and appropriate knowledge on administering it will always, always be for the good. This is one reason why more organizations are clamoring for having more AEDs in areas where large group of people gather. Even more, trainings for CPR and AED is highly recommended for everyone.