How do you use an automated external defibrillator?

Do you know what an AED is? Do you know how to use a defibrillator in cardiac arrest? Do you know when to use it?

In this article, we will define an AED and discuss how and when to use it.

What is a defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, an essential part of trying to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest.

 It is also referred to as a defib, an automated external defibrillator (AED) or a public access defibrillator (PAD).

How to use a defibrillator?

To use a defibrillator, follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Turn the defibrillator on by pressing the green button and following its instructions.
  • Step 2: Peel off the sticky pads and attach them to the patient’s skin, one on each side of the chest, as shown in the picture on the defibrillator.
  • Step 3: Once the pads have been attached, stop CPR and don’t touch the patient. The defibrillator will then analyse the patient’s heart rhythm.
  • Step 4: The defibrillator will assess whether a shock is needed and if so, it will tell you to press the shock button. An automatic defibrillator will shock the patient without prompt. Do not touch the patient while they are being shocked.
  • Step 5: The defibrillator will tell you when the shock has been delivered and whether you need to continue CPR.
  • Step 6: Continue with chest compressions and rescue breaths until the patient shows signs of life or the defibrillator tells you to stop so it can analyse the heartbeat again.

DO NOT remove the pads if you have placed them the wrong way around; the AED will still work.

While the AED analyses the rhythm, stop CPR and ensure no one touches the casualty.

When do you deliver the shock?

If a shock is indicated, deliver shock. You must:

  • Ensure that nobody is touching the casualty.
  • Push the shock button as directed (fully automatic AEDs will deliver the shock automatically).
  • Immediately restart CPR at a ratio of 30:2.
  • Continue as directed by the voice/visual prompts.

What to do if shock is not indicated?

If a shock is NOT indicated, continue CPR. You have to:

  • Immediately restart CPR at a ratio of 30:2.
  • Continue as directed by the voice/visual prompts.

Who can use a defibrillator?

You do not need to be trained to use a defibrillator – anyone can use it. They are simple and easy to use, and you do not need any training.

 There are clear instructions on how to attach the defibrillator pads. It then assesses the heart rhythm and will only instruct you to deliver a shock if needed.

 You cannot deliver a shock accidentally, the defibrillator will only allow you to shock if it is needed.

Where can I find first aid training courses and qualifications?

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited statutory and mandatory training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team byclicking hereto tell us your statutory and mandatory first aid training courses and qualifications.

First aid training courses and qualifications

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Automated external defibrillator in basic life support - Online blended learning - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

How do you use an automated external defibrillator? - The Mandatory Training Group UK.

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