What is an AED?

by | Sep 23, 2013 | Education

AED stands for automatic external defibrillator. A LIFEPAK AED is a piece of emergency medical equipment which is used when a person has suffered from ventricular fibrillation which is an abnormal heart rhythm. When there is a disruption in the heartbeat and it begins to beat chaotically the blood flow is stopped and without intervention, death soon follows.

If the victim of cardiac arrest gets early defibrillation, it is frequently possible to restore the normal rhythm. Statistically, about two thirds of the victims of cardiac arrest that are defibrillated quickly do survive. When used with CPR, the survival rate doubles.

An AED is standard equipment for emergency medical responders such as fire fighters and EMTs. As the LIFEPAK AED is a proven lifesaver, they are beginning to appear in more and more places where a large number of people congregate. They are commonly found in theme parks, zoos, sports arenas; schools and even on airplanes. Although it is best if the person tasked with using the device has had training; in a desperate situation anyone can use one as they are fully automated. The defibrillator knows when it should be used and when it should not, when the emergency is a heart attack, the unit will not give a shock, when the emergency is a cardiac arrest, it will.

In environments where AEDs are located, personnel who work in the facility are trained in the use of the device. The training is straight forward and requires no understanding of medicine, the training is simply focused on the safe way to use the device so that neither the operator nor anyone close by does not also receive a jolt.

Once the machine is deployed to the site of the emergency, the machine will walk the user through the procedure. The initial step is to place the defibrillator pads on the victim’s chest. There is no need for the operator to know if giving a shock is the right thing to do or not, the machine runs an analysis of the heart rhythm, if it needs shocking, the machine will tell the operator to engage it and deliver the shock.

As cardiac arrest is an irregular beating of the heart, an AED stops the heart completely for a moment, this lets the heart reset itself and take back its function.


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