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How to Use an AED

January 21st, 2009

Paramedics

Sudden cardiac arrest claims 400,000 each year in the United States alone. It’s the cause of more than half the deaths from heart disease. In an effort to increase the odds of a victim’s survival lightweight portable Automated External Defibrillators, AED’s, have been installed on airplanes, in retirement communities and on campuses. AED’s deliver a powerful electrical shock to the heart that restores normal heart beat. It should only be used with victims that don’t respond to cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Here’s how to use an AED in the event of an emergency:

1.Switch on the defibrillator. Some AEDs may automatically switch on when the AED lid is opened. Others have an easy to identify green button. If more than one rescuer is present, continue CPR until the shock is given.

2.Remove the victims’ shirt or blouse, watch, rings and jewelry. Check for piercings and remove all studs.

3.Apply the electrode pads to the chest according the diagram displayed on the machine. Place one on the upper right side of the chest, the other on the lower left.

4.Stop CPR. Plug the electrode pads into the connector. The defibrillator will analyze the victim. Do not touch or move the victim while this occurs.

5.If the AED determines that a shock is needed, the machine will tell you audibly to deliver a shock by pressing a button. The machine will examine the victim’s heart beat to see if another shock is needed. If it is, you’ll be told to press the button again. Some AED’s will administer the shocks automatically as needed.

6.Check the victim’s breathing and pulse. If the heart has resumed beating, but the patient is not breathing, resume CPR. If there is no pulse, repeat the defibrillation process.

Remember, in the event of sudden cardiac arrest, the first responder can make all the difference. Make sure that your office is outfitted with an AED from PhysiciansResource.com and that all of the employees receive proper training.

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