When Preparing an AED for Use, What is the First Thing You Should Do

When Preparing an AED for Use, What is the First Thing You Should Do

May 12, 2021

When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, it is crucial an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is used quickly to help save their life. Statistically, if someone is shocked within one minute of suffering sudden cardiac arrest, they have a 90% chance of survival. Each minute after decreases that person’s chances of survival 10%. This is why it is crucial AEDs are EVERYWHERE!
So, when preparing an AED for use, what is the first thing you should do? The most important thing to remember is to turn the AED on! Once the machine is turned on, the AED will start talking to you. It will give you step-by-step instructions, telling you exactly what to do.
Our Lifeline AEDs have a very clear, green “on” button. Once you press the button, the machine will start talking to you. It will first tell you to “call for help.” If you have not called 9-1-1 yet, call 9-1-1 immediately.
After turning the AED on, follow these steps to help save a life from SCA!

Step 1: 

The AED will tell you to “remove pads from package in back of unit.” Defibtech AEDs make the pads easy to find! Just turn the machine around and you will see the pads pack in the back of the unit.

Step 2:

The AED will now tell you to “apply pads to patient’s bare chest as shown.” It is important that the patient’s chest is completely bare. The AED pads cannot be placed over any type of clothing. The pads have pictures on them. When you tear open the pads package you will see one picture showing a pad on the right side of the patient’s chest underneath the collar bone. The other picture will show a pad being placed on the person’s left side, under the armpit. Place the pads firmly as they are shown in the pictures.

Step 3:

Once the pads are placed correctly the machine will say, “analyzing heart rhythm, do not touch the patient.” It is important to make sure no one is touching the patient at this time. Look up and down the body. Loudly state, “Stand clear.” If the machine determines a shock is needed, it will say, “Shock Advised. Charging. Stand Clear.” Again, look up and down the body. Loudly state, “Stand clear.”

Step 4:

Once the AED machine has finished charging, it will say, “Press flashing shock button.” Defibtech AEDs have a bright shock button found on the front of the unit. Press this button when it is flashing and the AED tells you to.

Step 5:

Once you deliver the first shock, the machine will say, “Shock one delivered. It is safe to touch the patient. Begin CPR now.” You can now provide CPR to the person. NEVER remove the pads. Perform CPR with the AED pads still on the body. You will hear a metronome that will give you the perfect beat to provide chest compressions. The AED will allow you to provide CPR for two minutes. After two minutes that machine will re-analyze and determine if a second shock is needed. This process will continue until EMS arrives.

Every situation is different. If the AED is used very quickly, one shock might bring the person back to being responsive and breathing. If this happens, you do not need to provide CPR, but you need to monitor the person until EMS arrives. The person might go back into cardiac arrest again, if this happens, start CPR immediately.
Other situations might require multiple rounds of CPR, multiple shocked from the AED, and medication administered by EMS to bring the person back.
Now you know the basic steps to using an AED. Remember, the most important step is to turn the machine one and listen to the AED step-by-step instructions it will give to you.
To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit www.Defibtech.com.