Health Beat with Dr. Alicia Arnold: How to use an AED

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Lindsay: "Think about your workplace, a sports arena, or the mall and there's a good chance you may find one of these there, an AED. Even someone untrained can use it to help save a life. Dr. Alicia Arnold is here to talk more about that... First, what does AED stand for and where does it come into play?

Alicia: "AED stands for automate external defibrillator. As you can see it's a portable device that can be used to monitor someone’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock if needed. It’s used to treat sudden cardiac arrest, which is when the heart unexpectedly stops beating."

Lindsay: Now these are much more widespread than they used to be?

Alicia: “They're found everywhere. If you look at the mall, at sports arenas, the airport, frequently you can find an AED any place where a crowd is present.

Lindsay: “A lot of time in those situations seconds really counts, why is it so important to act quickly?”

Alicia: “It really is very important to act quickly because in sudden cardiac arrests, every second, every minute counts. When your heart stops beating it cuts off the blood flow to important organs like your brain."

Lindsay: “Okay well on that note, we also have Michelle, a paramedic, here can you show us how this works?

Michelle: "I'm going to come on a person here; I notice that he's down. I'll find a bystander and tell him please get help or call 911, get an AED. So I come to this patient, I want to confirm unresponsiveness. I'm not seeing any movement, there's no response to that. I'm going to look listen, no airway and I've confirmed there's no pulse. So I'm going to start compressions until I have an AED and I'm going to do at least 100 a minute. At this time someone has brought an AED. So you want to set it up on the side of the head you're working on and it's very self-explanatory, what you do first is turn it on. Very simplified.

AED: "Apply pads...plug in connector."

Michelle: "You want to make sure no one is touching the patient or anything near the patient

AED: "Deliver shock now. Press the orange button now. Shock delivered."

Michelle: "Every second counts so as long as you're giving good CPR and the electrical know this patient could easily have a better chance."

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