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How to Use an AED

Mar 9, 2021

All machines come with 2 sets of AED electrodes(pads). These pads have pictures on them to show how the pads go on a patient.  With an adult the pads go on the right upper quadrant of the chest and the second pad goes under the left armpit.  This allows the electrical current to cross across the chest through the heart.  If the user accidently puts the pad on incorrectly the AED will alert the user to “check pads” until the pads are moved and put on correctly.

As soon as the pads are correctly adhered to the chest, the AED alerts the user “analysing heart rate”.  The user must not touch the patient at this time. After the AED analyses the patient it will inform the user as to what to do.  If the machine detects either V-fib or V-tach it will recommend “shock advised” and will then light up the “Shock Button” on the AED.  The user will then press the button and listen for further instructions from the AED. 

There are many versions of AED’s but they all work the same.  The first thing to do is TURN THEM ON.  Some AED’s are voice prompts only and will talk the user through how to use them.  There are newer versions that have video and will instruct the user on how to use it.

Once you have adhered the pads to the chest the AED starts to monitor the heart.  If there is a heart beat the AED will not shock the patient so never be afraid to use these machines.

All AED’s also have a recording device inside recording all action that is being done to the heart, whether that is CPR, Shocking or normal heart.  As soon as the ambulance attendants arrive, they can send all of this information to the hospital so that the doctors can be ready in the operating room when the patient arrives at hospital.

The age difference for use of separate AED pads are over 8 use adult pads anyone under 8 uses child pads.

Children’s AED pads are smaller than adults.  One pad has a picture of the front of the child face and one pad has a picture of the back of a child’s head.  The pad with the child’s face goes on the center of the chest in the front and the one with the back of the head goes on the center of the child’s back.  This is the only difference between using and AED on an adult to using it on a child.

Always remember that the chest has to be dry so if using an AED on an infant all wet/dirty diapers must be removed and baby must be wiped clean.