How to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Automated External Defibrillators are designed so that they can be used both by trained medical personnel as well as those without extensive medical training. Unlike regular defibrillators, AEDs require minimal training to use. They are programmed to automatically diagnose heart rhythm and determine whether or not electrical therapy is indicated.

When the device determines that an electrical shock is required, automatic devices administer the electrotherapy immediately whilst semi-automatic ones require the press of a button by the user. However, in all these devices a determination of ‘no shock’ cannot be overridden, thereby ensuring that shocks are only given in exigent circumstances.

Additionally, AEDs prompt the user through voice and visual prompts as to the treatment that is most recommended for /required by the patient.

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A person with sudden heart attack must get help within 10 minutes to survive. Fainting is usually the first sign of sudden cardiac arrest. If you think someone may be in cardiac arrest, follow the steps below:

If you see a person faint or if you find a person already unconscious, first confirm that the person cannot respond. The person may not move, or his or her movements may look like a seizure.

You can shout at or gently shake the person to make sure he or she is not sleeping, but never shake an infant or young child. Instead, you can gently pinch the child to try to wake him or her up.

Check the person’s breathing and pulse. If the person is not breathing and has no pulse or has an irregular heartbeat, prepare to use the AED as soon as possible.