When you take a CPR certification course (or re-certify) you have to demonstrate proper usage on how to use A.E.D. device. An A.E.D. device is an external defibrillator that will deliver an electrical shock to a victim’s heart to reset it. A victim’s heart rhythm would need to be “reset” if they were in a lethal heart rhythm such as ventricular fibrillation (v-fib) or pulse-less ventricular tachycardia (v-tach).
I wanted to write an article and provide you with a video demonstration on how to use an A.E.D., so you will be prepared for your CPR class. In the article, I will give you a quick and easy overview on how to use an A.E.D. on an adult and child (8 years or older) and the key concepts you need to remember for an exam.
After you watch the video demonstration on how to use an automated external defibrillator (A.E.D.) and read this article, I highly encourage you take our CPR practice exam to help prepare you for class.
Video Demonstration on How to Use an A.E.D.
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Key Concepts & Steps on A.E.D Usage
1.) Turn on the A.E.D by hitting the green button. A.E.D.s are great because they tell you all the steps to follow.
2.) Attach the pads to the victim’s bare chest. For adults and children (8 years or older) you will use adult size pads.
Placement of A.E.D. Pads:
- One pad will go on the right upper chest just below the collarbone. Press the pad firmly onto the skin.
- Second pad will go to the left of the left nipple so that the top edge of the pad reaches a few inches below the armpit.
Things to consider before placing the pads:
- Hairy chest: If the victim has a lot of hair it will need to be removed, if possible. This is because the hair can cause artifact and cause the pads not to stick properly. Some kits comes with a razor to trim the hairs. If you don’t have a razor, some A.E.D. have extra pads in them. You can apply the extra pads to rip off the hair.
- Implanted devices: Avoid placing the A.E.D. over devices implanted in the skin such as a pacemaker, internal defibrillators, sub q-ports etc. because they can interfere with the transfer of electrical current to the victim’s heart.
- Trans-dermal medication patch: If you see any type of medication patch on the skin, remove them and quickly clean the skin. If not removed they can cause a burn to the skin during electrical shock.
- Water: If the victim is submerged in water or their chest is covered with water, quickly dry it. Water is a great conductor of electricity. However, if the victim is in snow or a small puddle it is okay to shock.
3.) Plug in the connector (some devices are already plugged in)
4.) Clear the victim so the device can analyze the heart rhythm. If the victim is moved the device may interpret that the victim is in cardiac arrest and it needs to shock.
5.) If the victim needs to be shocked the device will say “Shock Advised”. So you will need to shout “CLEAR” and look to make sure everyone is clear and then press the button. If the victim does not need to be shocked you will resume CPR and the device will re-analyze in 2 minutes (5 cycles of CPR). If the victim is shocked you will resume CPR immediately after the shock for 5 cycles until the device re-analyzes.
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