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aed

AED: Automated external defibrillator, shock, analysis, paddles, electrodes, defibrillation

AED: Automated external defibrillator, shock, analysis, paddles, electrodes, defibrillation

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that is used to restart the heart in cases of cardiac arrest. AEDs are designed to be easy to use by people with little or no medical training, and they can be found in many public places, such as airports, schools, and shopping malls.

The AED delivers a shock to the heart through two paddles or electrode pads placed on the person's chest.

Shock: The shock delivered by the AED is designed to reset the heart's electrical activity and restore a normal rhythm, which can help to restore blood flow to the body and save the person's life.

Analysis: Before the shock is delivered, the AED analyzes the person's heart rhythm to determine if a shock is needed. If a shock is needed, the AED will instruct the user to press a button to deliver the shock, which is called defibrillation.

Defibrillation is the process of delivering a shock to the heart to try to restore a normal heart rhythm. This is done in cases of cardiac arrest when the heart is not beating properly and cannot pump blood to the body.

Overall, an AED is an important tool for responding to cardiac emergencies, and it can be used by anyone to help save a person's life.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does AED hurt?

People who have used a defibrillator report that the shock is painful, even though it is a required and effective preventive therapy.

If I'm in an emergency and don't have an AED, can a taser on the chest act as a defibrillator?

Unfortunately, no. A taser doesn't work in the same way as a defibrillator. A Taser delivers a high voltage low current shock designed to incapacitate the subject. When the trigger is pulled, and the probes go in, it delivers that shock for 5 seconds unless the person firing it intervenes. On the other hand, an AED delivers a controlled shock with a specific voltage designed to restore the patient's normal heart rhythm. In addition, AEDs can be found in most public buildings, so there's no way for you not to use a defibrillator unless you are in a remote area.

Suppose I'm a health professional and don't have a defibrillator. What should I do?

If you are a medical provider and you don't have a defibrillator available in the area, you can perform the CPR Steps until advanced cardiac life support is available.

What happens if the AED does not work correctly?

One of the most frequent issues with AEDs has been battery failure. So if the AED fails to operate, the depleted battery should be removed and replaced with a new one. If the AED still doesn't work, continue performing CPR until the emergency medical services arrive.

Can I use AED if the victim is unconscious, does not breathe but has a pulse?

An AED can only be used on someone with Tachycardia or a rapid heart rate. You cannot use it on victims with an extremely slow heart rhythm or those whose heart stops beating. When you attach the electrode pads to the victim's chest, the AED will determine whether the victim's heart needs an electric shock or not.

What's the purpose of recovery position after using AED?

The purpose of the recovery position is to prevent suffocation through airway obstruction, which can occur in unconscious supine patients. If the patient regains consciousness, you must put him in a recovery position while waiting for the EMS to arrive.

Does it matter if the pads were placed correctly when using an AED?

Most AED pads include written and visual instructions for placement, so you will be guided accordingly on where to put the electrode pads. The pads are a crucial part of AED because they enable the electrical shock to pass through the victim's heart, so it's essential to attach them correctly.

Will the AED work if the victim is wearing clothes?

Removing clothing and accessories on the victim's chest is important because you need to attach the electrode pads to the skin. Direct skin contact is necessary for an AED to deliver an electric shock to a patient experiencing an abnormal heart rhythm. Therefore, any blockage that could get in the way should be removed or trimmed away.

Is it harmful to use AED if the victim has metal objects on his body and the rescuer cannot remove them?

If a victim needing an AED shock has metal jewelry on their body, in places where the AED pads need to go, do not put them over the metals. If the metals cannot be removed, healthcare providers suggest moving the pads an inch away from the metal to perform AED treatment.

Do I need to remove the victim's bra if it is a woman?

Any jewelry or clothing that could interfere with the use of the pads should be removed since they must be connected to bare skin. You must also remove any metal-containing clothing, such as an underwire bra, from the area where the pads are attached.

References

American Heart Association (2020). Automated External Defibrillators (AED). Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/automated-external-defibrillators-aed