What is Automated External Defibrillator?

In todays’ blog post, everything you ought to know about Automated External Defibrillator which is also known as AED will be made known.

The different types and how to use them are unraveled. AEDs are sophisticated but very simple to use. In fact, they’re designed in such a way that even an untrained bystander can use them without incident.

What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

AEDs are portable, life-saving devices used to treat people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly.

The AED system includes accessories like a battery and pad electrodes that allow the AED to detect and interpret an electrocardiogram and deliver an electrical shock.

Types of Automated External Defibrillator

There are two kinds of AEDs: public access and professional access use.

Public accessibility:

Airports, community centers, schools, government buildings, hospitals, and other public places all have AEDs.

They are intended to be used by laypeople with little or no training.

Professional accessibility:

Use in the workplace

First responders, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, use AEDs after receiving additional AED training.

Semi-automated or fully automated AEDs are also available.

Semi-automated defibrillators analyze the heart’s rhythm, and if an abnormal heart rhythm that requires a shock is detected, the device prompts the user to press a button to deliver a defibrillation shock.

Fully automated defibrillators analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if commanded by the device software, deliver a defibrillation shock without user intervention.

How to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

The AED protocol consists of basic steps to be followed which include:

  • Examine the unresponsiveness
  • Retrieve the AED by dialing 9-1-1 or the local emergency number (if applicable)
  • Check for breathing by opening the airway. If there is no breathing or if it appears to be abnormal, take two slow breaths
  • Look for a pulse. If there is no pulse, activate the AED. CPR should be continued by a second rescuer until the AED is attached
  • Make the person’s chest visible
  • If wet, dry the chest
  • Take off any medication patches
  • Remove the backing
  • Examine for a pacemaker or an internal defibrillator Put the pads on
  • One pad should be placed on the upper right chest, above the breast
  • Apply the second pad to the lower left side of the chest, just below the armpit
  • Ensure that the wires are connected to the AED box
  • Place the AED electrode pads in place
  • Shift away from the individual
  • CPR should be stopped.
  • Remove the individual. Tell others not to touch the individual.
  • Allow AED to analyze the rhythm.

If the AED message says “Check Electrodes,” then do the following:

  • Ascertain that the electrodes make good contact
  • Hold the “shock” button down until the AED delivers the shock
  • CPR should be restarted for two minutes, beginning with chest compressions
  • Steps 1–10 must be repeated

How to Care for an Automated External Defibrillator(AED)

Even if an AED is available, it is useless unless it is properly maintained. There have been numerous reports of people responding to an emergency and quickly obtaining an AED only to discover that it is not charged.

AED maintenance entails inspecting and testing the device on a regular basis. It is a good idea to inspect an AED on a regular basis every three months and carry out the following upkeep.

The following ways are how to take proper care of an AED.

They include:

  • Check the AED’s power by turning it on and making sure it turns on without a hitch.
  • Also, after turning off the AED, make sure the status indicator light indicates that the AED is ready to use. Return the AED to the manufacturer if the device does not power back on or displays an error.
  • Check that the additional rescue supplies, such as gloves, a razor, and a breathing mask, are available with the AED.
  • Examine the device for cracks, wear, and other indications of damage.
  • AED pads have a shelf life. Check the pads to ensure they are not out of date.
  • Check the batteries to ensure they are not also expired.
Precautions to Take Note of when using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Local protocols on this may differ and should be followed.

  • While the AED is analyzing, do not touch the victim. The analysis may be influenced if the victim is touched or moved.
  • Defibrillation should not be performed in the presence of flammable materials such as gasoline or free-flowing oxygen.
  • Within 6 feet of the AED, do not use a cell phone or radio. This could stymie analysis.
  • Only use the AED on victims who are unresponsive, not breathing normally, and have no pulse.
  • AEDs are currently designed for use with adult victims of sudden cardiac arrest, not children. Do not attach the victim if he or she appears to be under the age of eight or weighs less than 25 to 30 kg (55 to 65 lbs.)
  • AEDs can be used in any weather condition, including rain and snow. Wipe the chest dry before applying electrodes in wet weather. If the victim is lying in water, move him or her to a dry location before applying the AED.
  • Never place AED electrode pads directly on top of nitroglycerin patches. Before applying defibrillator pads to the skin, patches should always be removed and the skin wiped dry.
  • If you come into contact with the medication, make sure to wipe your skin dry.
  • If the victim has a pacemaker or an internal defibrillator with a battery pack (visible as a two-inch-long lump under the skin), avoid placing pads directly on the implanted medical device, if this is possible while maintaining proper pad placement.
  • If the victim is lying on a metal surface, such as bleachers or a stretcher, avoid making contact with the electrodes.
Tips for Using and Maintaining An Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

If you purchase an AED for your home, make sure that family, friends, and visitors are aware of its location and how to use it. And you must keep it in good condition.

Here are some pointers for purchasing and maintaining your AED at home:

  • Purchase an AED that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. A list of approved devices is available on the FDA’s website.
  • Ensure that you have registered your AED with the manufacturer. You will then receive safety alerts as well as recall notices
  • Also, visit the manufacturer’s website on a regular basis to stay up to date on information about your device.
  • Learn everything you need to know.
  • Consider enrolling yourself and anyone else who might need to use your home AED in a community education class, such as those offered by the American Red Cross, to learn how to properly use your automated external defibrillator and perform CPR.

This will also allow you to respond if someone has a cardiac arrest in a public place and there is an AED nearby.

  • Perform a practice run with the AED as if it were an actual emergency.
  • Because the AED only works on certain types of cardiac arrest, those who may need to use it should be aware of the procedures to administer if the AED indicates that a shock is not required but the patient remains unresponsive.
  • Keep your AED in a convenient location. Ascertain that family, friends, and visitors are aware of its location.
  • Maintain the AED properly, including the installation of new batteries as needed, which is usually every four years, and the replacement of electrode pads as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep extra pads on hand.
  • Pay attention to warnings. Home AEDs are programmed to self-test to ensure proper operation. Check that you can hear the alarm. If your machine starts beeping or a light flashes, contact the device’s manufacturer. Keep the phone number handy.
  • Purchase the best AED for you. Some AEDs are not intended for use at home, but rather for use by emergency personnel or for installation in public places
  • Don’t be fooled by websites or other sellers who offer AEDs that aren’t intended for home use.

AEDs provide a means to save a life. Consult your doctor and conduct research before purchasing one. Also, don’t forget to learn the fundamentals, such as CPR.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Storage Procedures

AEDs are vital pieces of life-saving equipment that must be properly stored to ensure they are accessible and ready to use in the event of an emergency.

The following are some of the factors that go into properly storing an AED:

  • Staff is aware of its location:

There have been numerous instances of someone having a cardiac emergency and calling for an AED, but staffs have no inkling of where it is kept.

All staff and volunteers should be trained to know where the AED is and how to use it in an emergency.

  • Keep AEDs in a secure place:

AEDs are very expensive, so some people choose to keep them in locked or secured areas.

This is not recommended because a situation may arise that necessitates the use of an AED, and if it is inaccessible, it is useless.

Furthermore, if it is stored in areas where only certain people have access, valuable time may be wasted in locating the person in order to gain access to the AED.

  • Do not obstruct or block the AED:

Wherever you store the AED in your facility, make sure it is always open and accessible.

Whether your facility is under construction, hosting a special event, or experiencing another unanticipated event, make sure the AED is always within easy reach in the event of an emergency.

Conclusion

AEDs are life-saving medical devices that can diagnose potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and then treat the arrhythmias with defibrillation.

AEDs have been installed in many settings (such as schools and airports) due to their small size and ease of use, and they play a role in increasing the number of opportunities for life-saving defibrillation.

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