An AED is the only device that will save a life if someone falls victim to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is when the heart abruptly stops beating usually due to an electrical disturbance in the heart that disrupts the pumping action.
If you find yourself in a position where you must use an AED on someone whose heart has stopped beating, first you must stay calm and follow the prompts on the AED. The prompts are very easy to follow and are made for people who are untrained and have never used an AED before.
First, the AED will instruct you to call 911. Then it will advise you to remove all clothing from the victim’s chest. At that point, the AED prompts will instruct you to put the pads on the victim. There will be a picture on the pads showing you where to place them. The pad placement for an adult is a little different from a child 8 years old or younger.
For a child who is 8 or younger, one pad is placed on the back between the shoulder blades (see picture), and the other goes on the front of the child’s chest between the nipples (see picture). For everyone else, one of the pads will go on the front of the chest above the right nipple, and the other will be on the left side of the chest below the breast area (see picture).
At this point the AED will analyze if the patient needs a shock or not. If the patient needs a shock, the AED will continue to give you prompts on exactly what to do next. The most important thing is to continue to stay calm, listen, and follow the simple instructions that are being given to you by the AED.
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