Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Safety Talk

Understand the importance of an AED, when to use them, and how to use them.

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Automated External Defibrillator Safety Talk

In an emergency situation, it is so easy to panic. When you are the person who is there taking care of a sick individual, it is important to stay as calm as possible. It is a lot easier said than done.

Medical emergencies can happen at any given time and very rarely come with a warning sign. That is one reason that so many businesses are starting to have AED (Automated External Defibrillator) devices on hand. You never know when the time is going to arise that you are going to need one. It can be the one thing that can help you save someone’s life in certain medical emergencies.

In America, there are over 725,000 people who experience a heart attack every year. This is a very serious emergency that can happen to anyone. Many will confuse a heart attack with cardiac arrest for being the same illness. They are very similar but yet one is worse than the other. Cardiac arrest is when the blood flow to the heart is completely stopped, unlike heart attacks.

What Is An AED?

AED, also known as an automated external defibrillator, is a device that can be used to save someone's life during a medical emergency. If you have an individual who is unresponsive and not breathing, you can use this electrical device to begin heart rhythms again. There are training on these devices that employees should be trained on to know how to use it properly.

All in all, they are very easy to use. When you open the device, it speaks to you, instructing you on how to use it. You will use electrodes that you place on the individual to shock their heart. The machine itself will detect if there is a pulse and if you should use the device on the individual.

Important Information Regarding An AED

It is important that all employees in the place of work know how to use the AED. You never know who is going to be the one present when an emergency arises. Regular inspections of the AED should be done as well to make sure it is always in good working order. Here are some AED informational points to always remember:

  • AED is very easy and self-explanatory to use. Just about anyone can use these machines with the guidance that they offer. It is best to train all employees on the machine so there is no question when it comes time to use one in an emergency though.
  • There are flashing lights on the machine that indicate the state of the device. Everyone should know what the different color blinking lights mean on the machine. A green light indicates a healthy AED and a red light indicates that there is a problem.
  • You should get about 2-4 years of battery life out of your AED.
  • Always get the collapsed individual the emergency attention they need as quickly as possible. It has been reported that prompt use of a defibrillator increases the chances of survival by 90 percent. For every passing minute that goes by, the chances of the individual surviving is lowering by 7-10 percent.
  • Circumstances When Using An AED

    Like mentioned, an AED is very simple to use. The correct training is recommended when employers can make it available to help you feel more comfortable and confident when you have a situation where you need to use it. Here are some helpful tips to always think about:

  • If the patient has chest hair, you will need to shave the area quickly. There is usually a disposable razor located somewhere inside the case.
  • Check the patient for any medication patches that they may be wearing. The ones that you are most concerned about, are ones located where you need to place electrodes. Put gloves on your hands and remove any patches that are there.
  • Look for noticeable signs of a pacemaker. A pacemaker will appear like a lump that is directly under the skin on the left side of their chest. You can still use an AED on individuals who have one, you just need to know where to place the electrodes. You want to stay one inch to the side of the pacemaker.
  • Steps To Using An AED

    Knowing how to use the AED that is on the wall at your work is very important. Here are some simple step-by-step instructions on how to use one.

  • Always call 911 first when you see an individual who has collapsed and unresponsive. If other people are around, yell for someone to call.
  • Grab the AED off the wall. Most are located in a common area with big lettering indicating what is there.
  • Check the individual for a pulse, if no pulse is detected, turn on the AED.
  • Make sure the individual's skin is dry and apply the electrodes to their chest as the directions indicate.
  • The AED will pretty much do the work for you from there.
  • It will specifically tell you if the individual is needing the shock button to be pressed. Never press the button unless the AED device tells you to.
  • First Aid Training

    Many places of business require their employees to go through some type of first aid training. That way they can be somewhat knowledgeable about what to do in case of an emergency. Some places will actually have an assigned person who is supposed to attend to each individual thing when an emergency occurs. That is so there isn’t any confusion about who is calling 911 or who is getting the AED.

    First aid classes are easily done at your place of work or sometimes at other locations. They usually consist of one day and a test at the end to certify you. It is good knowledge to have in a workplace to better protect everyone.

    Are AED Devices Safe To Use?

    Many people may be nervous to use an AED device. They have basic knowledge about what they are but have never actually used one before. These devices are made to be incredibly simple to use, that they are completely safe.

    When the electrodes are placed on the individual, it will talk you through the steps. The biggest concern is to make sure the skin is dry in the area that you are applying the electrode. When the AED is turned on, it will detect the pulse, and when it is safe to use on the patient.

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