WHAT IS AN AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR-AED
An automated external defibrillator, better know by its abbreviation "AED", is a device that assists you when helping a person who has collapsed to the ground. It may save his or her life.
This small, battery-operated, device is easily transportable and simple to use. Anyone can use it, with or without cardiovascular resuscitation (CPR) training.
Posters indicating where to find them
In public places, we can notice more and more posters showing a heart with a lightning bolt inside or with the mention of defibrillator or AED.
They indicate where you can find an AED. It is important to know how to locate them.
The AED has a CPR assistance function as well as the ability to deliver an electric shock in case of life-threatening arrhythmia. Once placed on the person’s chest, it simultaneously recognizes the heart rate and clearly indicates to the person or persons assisting the victim the steps to follow to save a life.
Why it is important
Excluding hospitals, 8 out of 10 cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), accompanied by defibrillation (electric shock to the heart), increase the chance of survival of the victim of cardiac arrests by up to 85%.
Every minute, every second counts
The chances of a person surviving a cardiac arrest while suffering from fatal ventricular fibrillation-like arrhythmia decrease by 7% to 10% every minute until defibrillation occurs.
Therefore, a simple calculation indicates that 10 minutes of cardiac arrest without intervention greatly weaken the possibility of surviving.
A person is on the ground!
There are several possible causes for someone to fall to the ground. Everyone is able to help.
Is he or she unconscious?
First, we must see if they are conscious. “Sir, Madam! Do you hear me! Squeeze your hand if you hear me!”
The person is unconscious and does not respond; we call for help. Someone has to dial 911.
CPR must begin!
If anyone knows about CPR; this person must take over. People around him or her are there to help.
If nobody knows about CPR
If nobody knows CPR, the situation can still be dealt with! The 911 respondent can help and the presence of an AED close by helps even more.
A DEA is available
When you call for help, someone brings you an AED.
Everything is fine! Stay calm!
Follow the vocal instructions
Open the cover or box in which the defibrillator is stored. Lift the plastic handle or cover.
From then on, the AED instructor will be heard. All you have to do is listen carefully and follow its instructions.
- "Apply the electrodes to the patient's bare chest". The drawings on the electrodes indicate how to place them correctly.
- "Connect the electrode next to the flashing light". The flashing light is on the case. Connecting is easy.
- "Analysis of the patient's heart rate in progress! Nobody should touch the patient.” The device is analyzing the electricity in the patient's heart. Depending on the analysis, the AED will tell you how to continue.
-If the analysis demonstrates lethal arrhythmia, the device will say, "Shock recommended. Device in charge! Stay away from the patient.” Make sure no one touches the patient.
- "Deliver the shock now. Press the orange button now. "
- "Shock delivered, on pause".
- "From now on, if necessary, apply CPR".
The device will guide you through all the steps and will repeat the shock if the patient has not responded favorably to the previous electrical shock.
At times, the electric shock is not necessary
Some situations do not require electric shocks. In this case, the device has not detected lethal arrhythmia.
The device then indicates the sequence of the following actions. For example, it can tell you that CPR is necessary and will guide you through the reanimation steps.
Continue the actions until first responders arrive.
The device is also equipped with a recorder. It is therefore possible to review the sequence and see if the reanimation was done according to the device’s instructions.
This helps give "feedback" to the person (s) assisting the patient.
You can change the course of things for someone who has collapsed to the ground and does not respond.
The quick installation of an AED significantly improves the chances of survival where every second and every minute count.
All can use an AED. Just follow the vocal instructions.