The presence of automated external defibrillators (AED) at schools, churches and workplaces can be a lifesaver.
It isn’t just a good idea. Did you know that all fifty states have enacted laws and/or regulations requiring that public gathering places have AEDs available. The intent of these laws and regulations are so that sudden cardiac death or neurological damage will not be the end result of sudden cardiac arrest.
Using an AED to Save a Life
When an AED is brought to the scene, halt CPR and again check if the victim is breathing. If not, have a trained individual use the AED with the following steps, outlined by the National Safety Council:
- Position the victim away from water and metal. Place the AED near the victim’s shoulder and turn it on.
- Expose the victim’s chest, and dry or shave the electrode pad area, if necessary (A razor should be included in the AED kit.)
- Apply pads to the victim’s chest according to the placement diagram. Be sure to check the cables are plugged into the unit.
- Make sure you and other bystanders are clear of the victim during a rhythm analysis.
- Follow the prompts from the AED to either press the shock button or immediately give CPR with the shock pads in place, starting with chest compressions.
- Again, be sure everyone stands clear of the victim for a rhythm analysis.
- Continue steps 5 and 6 until the victim moves or professional rescuers arrive on the scene to take over.
- If the victim moves, check for breathing. Place a breathing, unresponsive victim in the recovery position:
- Extend the victim’s arm over his or her head, and position the other arm across the chest.
- Bend the victim’s leg at the knee.
- Put your forearm under the victim’s shoulder with your hand under the hollow of the neck.
- Carefully roll the victim away from you. Push on the flexed knee and lift with your forearm while your hand stabilizes the head and neck.
- Once in position, check the airway and open the victim’s mouth to allow drainage.
Are You Ready to Save a Life?
It is the law that the staff at your school, church, or organization know how to do these life saving techniques. Do you know how?