Sudden Cardiac Arrest can affect anyone anytime. It is crucial that the person gets help immediately. The only thing that will pull someone out of SCA is an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). An AED is a portable device that will check the heart's rhythm and can send an electrical shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
These are the steps on how to use an AED in the correct way to save a persons life. It could be scary for someone who has never used it before, but the AED is made to verbally walk you through the steps without any experience needed.
- Call 911
- Turn on the AED and follow the visual and/or audio prompts.
- Open or cut the person's shirt to expose bare skin. If the person's chest is wet, dry it.
- AEDs have sticky pads with sensors called electrodes. Apply the electrode pads to the person's chest as pictured on the AED pad package. Place one pad on the right center of the person's chest above the nipple. Place the other pad slightly below the other nipple and to the left of the rib cage.
- The AED will then start to Analyze the patient and check to see if a shock is needed.
- If a shock is needed, the AED will instruct you stop touching the patient and move clear.
- If it is an automatic AED, the AED will then shock the patient. If it is a Semi-Automatic AED, it will tell you to push the shock button if a shock is needed.
- Begin CPR after delivering the shock. Or, if no shock is advised, begin CPR. Perform 2 minutes (about 5 cycles) of CPR and continue to follow the AED's prompts. If you notice obvious signs of life, discontinue CPR and monitor breathing for any changes in condition.
This is a general instructional video on how an AED works.