Precautions to Take When Using an AED

Precautions to Take When Using an AED

October 13, 2021




Automated External Defibrillators help save lives! They are meant for anyone to use them. There are a few things you should consider when using an AED.
 
All AEDs should have a rescue kit with them. The rescue kit will include a CPR mask, a razor, scissors, wipes, and gloves. Here is why you might need to use each item:
 
CPR Mask – With the huge emphasis on compression only or “hands only” CPR, many people are not comfortable putting their mouth on another person’s mouth to give rescue breaths without a barrier device. A CPR mask is a way you can safely provide rescue breaths without human to human contact.
 
Razor – If the patient has a very hairy chest, you will want to use the razor to touch up the area where the pads are being placed. It is crucial that the pads are stuck firmly to the chest and excess hair can prevent that from happening.
 
Scissors – The pads need to be placed on bare skin. Scissors can be used to cut the shirt off of a person to bare the chest. They can also be used to cut the bra being worn by a female patient. Using scissors to remove the clothing will allow you to use the AED as quickly as possible.
 
Wipes – These can be used to wipe down the area where the pads will be placed. As previously mentioned, it is very important there is nothing on the body preventing the pads from sticking. If the person is sweating, use the wipes to remove the sweat in the area where the pads will be placed.
 
Gloves – Gloves are for your personal protection.
 
Here are some other scenarios to consider:
 
Water – If a person is under water, they need to be removed from the water. The person DOES NOT need to be completely dry. If they are in a small puddle or in a small pile of snow, they do not need to be moved.
 
Pacemakers and Implanted Defibrillators – Someone with an internal device still can be shocked with an AED. In fact, if their internal device does not save them immediately, it is crucial an AED is used as quickly as possible. It is important to remember, do not place the pads directly over the metal. You will notice a scar and a small bump in the chest where one of these devices is placed. If the device is in the location where the pad is placed, put the pad below or to the side of it.
 
Medicine Patch – While wearing gloves, remove the medicine patch and wipe down the area before placing the pads.
 
Jewelry – You DO NOT need to remove jewelry. It will not interfere with the AED.
 
Tattoos – Tattoos WILL NOT interfere with the AED.
 
Children – There are AED pads made specifically for children, but you might not see them as commonly as you see adult pads. Child pads are made for anyone under the age of 8. If you do not have child pads, but need to shock a child, use the adult pads. Place one pad in the center of the chest and one pad in the center of the back between the shoulder blades when using adult pads on a child.
 
Pregnant Women – It is crucial to the woman and the baby’s life that an AED is used as quickly as possible.
 
Although these are some factors to consider when using an AED, it is always most important to remember that the work you are doing is helping the person. If you have any thoughts that a person might need to be shocked by an AED, turn the machine on, place the pads, and let the machine make the decision.
 
To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit www.Defibtech.com