What’s the purpose of an AED?

An AED can be the difference between life and death! The survival rate without an AED is 7% but with the use of an AED, the survival rate goes up to 33%! (According to the American Heart Association in 2011) that means out of 100 peaple,7 survive without an AED but 33 survive with an AED!

But what does it do?

What an AED does is take that chaotic heart and stops it for just that moment so maybe it’ll listen to you.

An AED takes a heart that’s in Ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia and stops it for just a moment so we can get our message across and tell the heart what to do. The heart is like a teenager, they’ll argue and argue. There’s all this chaos and you’re trying to get your point across but they’re not listening So, sometimes you just have to yell “STOP!” and they’ll stop, for just a moment so you can quickly get your message across. But soon chaos arises again and you just have to yell “STOP!” again, so you can get your message across and hopefully they’ll listen this time. What an AED does is take that chaotic heart and stops it for just that moment so maybe it’ll listen to you.

What is Ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia?

Ventricular fibrillation, otherwise known as V fib. V fib is when a heart quivers and shakes very fast and isn’t able to pump blood anywhere                                                                                                                      

Ventricular tachycardia, otherwise known as V tach. V tach is when a heart beats so fast that its not able to pump blood anywhere. Both V fib and V tach cause loss of circulation to the places that need it like: your heart, lungs, brain and other important organs.

V tach

V fib

Normal

Can an AED kill someone?

No, an AED cannot kill someone. Unless the victim is in V fib or V tach, the AED will not allow a shock. You could put an AED on someone who’s alive and well and it will say “no shock advised, continue CPR” or you could put an AED on someone who’s been in the morgue for a few days and it will say the same thing. however, an AED can harm the people around, IF they are touching the victim while the AED is shocking (or if they are in the same puddle as the victim while its shocking.) Just stay clear of the victim while the AED is administering a shock then no harm can be done to anyone from the AED.

Can an AED be used on someone with a pacemaker?

You can use an AED on someone with a pacemaker. If a victim is having a heart attack and they have a pacemaker, then obviously the pacemaker isn’t working. Most new pacemakers are located on the top left, but if the pacemaker is located on the top right, just move the AED pad just a little so the pacemaker is not in the way.

Why should I use an AED?

You should use an AED because the success rate is much higher, (according to the American Heart Association in 2011) there’s a 7% success rate without the use of an AED, but with an AED it’s a 33% success rate! That means Out of 200 people, 14 survive without an AED, but with an AED, 65 people survive! AEDs are useful tools when doing CPR, there easy to use and save time. They improve survival success in cardiac arrest victims.

Common questions

Can I use an AED alone?

Absolutely! The sooner an AED is used, the better the outcome.

Can I take off the pads?

You should not take off the pads. Most hospitals have cord adapters and will use the same pads.

Can I just put the AED on and leave?

No, an AED is almost useless without the use of CPR. An AED stops the heart for just a moment, so you can tell the heart what to do by resuming quality chest compressions.

If you want to find out more information, take one of our classes, we’ll teach you how to use an AED and how to perform CPR. Visit www.inpulsecpr.com for more information about local community classes to attend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elayne Bowman