According to a report from the American Heart Association, one out of every 7.4 people in the United States dies from sudden cardiac arrest. However, according to the National Safety Council, research shows that increased access to AED or Automated External Defibrillators could save as many as 40,000 lives each year.
So if you’re wondering what an AED is and why many states and the federal government have mandated AEDs in public buildings, shopping malls, and private companies have been slower to adapt, you’re not alone. And since these lifesaving devices are now commonly available, not just for healthcare providers, more people are curious about them. So in this article, we’ll provide comprehensive information on what an AED is and why it’s essential to learn how to use it.
What is AED?
AED is an acronym for an Automated External Defibrillator. It is first aid medical equipment used on patients experiencing cardiac arrest. This portable lifesaving device is used to measure the activities, analyze the heart rhythm, and sometimes deliver an electrical shock or defibrillation to re-establish the heart’s effective rhythm and simultaneously save lives.
When ventricular tachycardia or abnormal heart rhythm is detected, it delivers an electric shock to the heart to restore the normal rhythm. There are different types of AEDs, and the price varies depending on the brands of AEDs. In addition, the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association for Emergency Cardiovascular Care have certified instructors and running programs that aid in the provision of online CPR AED classes, which results in online AED certification.
How to Operate an AED
Like all muscles, the heart contracts by electrical stimulation. When the electrical stimulation becomes disorganized, the heart will contract randomly. Knowing the signs of in and out of hospital cardiac arrest is the first step in deciding whether an AED is needed. If you see a cardiac arrest victim and you think he or she may need an AED, here’s what you should do :
- Check to see if the victim is unconscious.
- If the victim has no pulse and is not breathing, call for emergency medical help. If other people are present, ask someone to call 911 while the other prepares the AED. If you’re alone, call 911 or emergency medical services first to ensure help is on the way.
- Turn on the AED device. The AED will give you step-by-step commands explaining how to use the device and position the adhesive electrode pads on the victim’s chest. The pads allow the AED to examine the electrical output from the heart and determine if the victim is in a shockable rhythm, either ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
- Deliver the shock. When the pad electrodes are in place, the AED automatically measures the victim’s heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. If it is, the machine will tell you to stand back and push the shock button to deliver the defibrillation shock. The AED is programmed not to deliver a shock if it’s not needed.
- Administer CPR. Start CPR (a basic emergency procedure that employs chest compressions) after the shock is delivered if CPR is still needed. The AED will also guide you through CPR. The process can be repeated as needed until the medical emergency services team take over. Know the difference between CPR and AED here.
Why do AED Certification matters?
Getting the automated external defibrillator (AED) certification puts you in a position to provide the necessary help when it’s most needed. An example of this is medical emergencies like cardiac arrest. We all need to understand how and when to prepare and respond to emergency situations. The AED training classes are important in the sense that they impact the learner with the necessary first aid skills that make them useful when it comes to saving lives.
It is important to realize that the sooner a cardiac arrest patient is attended to, the higher the chances of survival. A large percentage of death among patients suffering from heart attack and cardiac emergencies occur due to delayed attendance by the medical practitioner. Every minute that patient who needs defibrillation is made to wait, their survival chances are reduced by 10%. This is why the need for AED training is rendered as a necessity. Red Cross believes that out of 4 people, one should have the necessary skills of dealing with AED to save a life.
For those who already possess the certification, recertification is a necessity which is an annual necessity. In addition, there is online CPR AED recertification meant as a renewal course for the holders of the AED certificate. American Red Cross believes that the recertification component gives professional medical practitioners a chance to earn continuing credits for their skills in their education.
Why Learn Automated External Defibrillator?
Most people are dying of cardiac arrest worldwide due to a lack of knowledge when it comes to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and the use of certification in automated external defibrillator (AED). The best way to reduce the number of deaths among individuals is for more people to learn the administration and performance of CPR, including the AED. Fortunately, these medical devices are found almost in every organization and institution.
The use of AED is the only way that can be used to restore the normal heartbeat rhythm after a cardiac arrest. Therefore, it is highly advisable to know and understand how to choose and operate the devices, and that is where the importance of learning comes in. In addition, the time between the cardiac arrest occurrence and the arrival of the emergency response team determines the cardiac arrest survival. Therefore, acquiring the AED skills will put you in a perfect position to save a life.
How to get AED Certification?
With digital certification reigning in this era, acquiring AED certification is as easy as a few clicks away. Many organizations can deliver online classes for all those who have expressed interest in taking the AED certification classes. On completing the courses, the certificates are delivered instantly online, where you can download, print, and share them. More information on how the training and classes are carried out is found on the websites of prospective organizations.
The course provider should be a reliable organization that provides classes that can meet the teaching requirements. The teaching staff should be well designed and delivered by experts or certified personnel. The course outline used should comply with the rules of AED certification and be thorough and deep.
What are the standards of AED Certifications (AHA and Red Cross)?
Regarding reliable CPR and AED certification providers, the American Heart Association and Red Cross are recognized more given their in-depth online certification training for both medical professionals and ordinary people. The American Heart Association is a research organization that uses its research to root for learning among the population. They have developed regulations, rules, and guidelines that give an outline of how the training courses should be delivered. In this regard, both American Red Cross and American Heart Association adhere to these rules when it comes to delivering the materials and courses.
Both organizations have come up with materials and course outline that targets both theemergency medical professional and ordinary people who need the skills to make them useful in their environment. Their method of deliverance juggles between in-person, online certification classes, and blended-learning training classes. The difference between these two organizations is planning their packages for online CPR AED classes.
As much as online classes are available, a complete CPR AED certification program will require the learner to attend on-site classes for their acquired skills and knowledge to be tested and evaluated. The same applies to recertification and renewal classes.
Why are Online CPR/AED Classes Better?
Today, CPR and AED training is made easy thanks to the availability of online classes. In addition, the use of digital gadgets like phones and computers has ensured that everyone has access to the CPR AED certification classes regardless of the time zone and/or availability schedule. This has made AED certification and renewal to be conveniently delivered with effective results. Also, it has made it possible for busy people with tight working schedules to be able to be part of the course.
Online certification gives you a chance to be among the few people who feel comfortable while handling cardiac arrest emergencies. There are several reasons why online CPR training is becoming a go-to option for most people. Some of the advantages of online classes can be summed up as follows:
- The lesson plans and training are bound by time flexibility. This means that anytime you need to start a course, all you need to do is get connected to the internet on your phone or laptop and log in.
- The classes are self-paced. This means that you can take the courses at your pace without feeling inconvenienced or dragging anyone behind.
- Most organizations accept online certification from credible sites that have been well-curated. This makes online certification classes for CPR credible and therefore acceptable.
- The classes are convenient in terms of location. You can take the courses from anywhere and be certified without going through the trouble of physical presence.
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Frequently Asked Questions About AED
How often does AED need to be inspected?
The Automated External Defibrillator batteries and pads need to be replaced every two to five years. However, inspections and other maintenance must occur as often as daily to make sure that your lifesaving device remains in working order.
Can an AED be used on a Child?
Yes. An AED or Automated External Defibrillator is designed to introduce a lower dose of electric shock when used on a child or infant. Some AEDs have separate pediatric pads, while others may adjust using a key. Some newer AED models have a toggle switch, which lowers the joule output to be appropriate for a child. This eradicates the need to buy or track expiration dates for a separate pediatric electrode.
What is the difference between an AED and a Manual Defibrillator?
Automated External Defibrillator can be found in most public buildings and do not require a professional operator. On the other hand, manual defibrillators are found in an ambulance or hospital where trained paramedics and emergency medical teams can analyze and diagnose. In addition, most manual defibrillators have an AED function on them and several other features.