How do AEDs work?

How Do AEDs Work?

Anyone can have a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Thus, having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) unit can come in handy. It is a light and portable device that is used in SCA cases to deliver a shock to the heart externally through the chest. A person having a SCA requires immediate attention and care as the chances of survival drop by 10% every minute the heartbeat is not restored to normal.

Can It Be Used Easily?

Having an AED unit close by can help provide immediate help to the victim. Though the unit is technical equipment, it is very easy to use and does not require any advanced training. It can be easily handled by any user who is trained to use it in the proper manner or non-medical professionals like members of the police force, security guards, firemen, flight attendants, etc.

How Does AED Work?

The device has a very simple mechanism and layout. The device has a built-in computer that checks the victim’s current heart beat pattern. Once that is noted, the computer determines if ‘defibrillation is needed or not. If the computer calculates a need for giving a shock, it gives a voice command to the user. This shock allows the heart to regain its regular pulse since, for a moment, all the activities of the body come to a halt. The computer is efficient and reports have shown that 90% of the time, it is able to effectively find the rhythm of the victims’ heartbeat. It commands a shock only in 2 conditions though; ventricular fibrillation and pulse-less ventricular tachycardia.

How to Use an AED Unit?

Here is how you need to use the AED unit:

  1. Turn on the AED unit. It may have a button to switch the power on or a lever; this varies from device to device.
  2. Remove all clothing from the chest, arm and abdominal area of the victim.
  3. Attach the pads with the electrodes on the bare skin of the chest. There should be no interference between the pads and skin contact.
  4. You will need to put the left pad to the left of the nipple and below the left armpit.
  5. The right pad should be below the right collarbone.
  6. Connect the wiring of the device.
  7. Next, the computer may give a vocal command stating the process of analysis is in process and that the CPR needs to be stopped.
  8. Before analyzing, the computer may also command to clear off the victim so that nobody is in physical contact with the victim.
  9. Command to give shock is given under the conditions of ventricular fibrillation and pulse-less ventricular tachycardia only.
  10. It will command with “shock advised” or “shock not advised”.