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 general steps you should go through when you need to use an AED.
After checking the scene and ensuring that the person needs help, you should ask a bystander to call 911 for help. If you have the AED with you begin the steps below. If not, then start CPR and get someone to grab the AED immediately. As soon as you have the AED, begin the steps below.
1. Turn on the AED and follow the visual and/or audio prompts.
2. Open the person's shirt and wipe his or her bare chest dry. If the person is wearing any medication patches, you should use a gloved (if possible) hand to remove the patches before wiping the person's chest.
3. Attach the AED pads, and plug in the connector (if necessary).
4. Make sure no one, including you, is touching the person. Tell everyone to "stand clear."
5. The AED will now analyze the patients heart rhythm and determine whether or not a shock is advised.
6. If the AED recommends that you deliver a shock to the person, make sure that no one, including you, is touching the person – and tell everyone to "stand clear." Once clear, press the "shock" button. If your AED is an automatic model then the AED will deliver the shock on its own without the need to press a button.
7. 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.
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