AED stands for automated external defibrillator and it is a essential component of rescue training. An AED is designed to dramatically increase the chances of survival for victims of cardiac arrest. They are incredibly simple and straightforward to use. AED’s can be found in many recreational centers, stores, and gathering places. As they continue to spread it is essential that as many people as possible learn how to use them. All first aid and CPR training classes (view class list here) offered at Vancouver First Aid include training in the use of AED’s.
An AED is typically a square 20 inch by 20 inch by 4 inch electronic unit with two buttons on it. One button is designed to turn the unit on and the other button is designed to shock the patient (it will not shock anything without analyzing a victim first). Two pairs of pads with electric cords are stored behind, underneath or within the unit. The electric cord is designed to be plugged into the AED while the adult or child pads are placed on the patient. A third pair of pads, for pediatric patients, might be found in more advanced units.
An automated external defibrillator is designed to be used on a unconscious patient. The computer components of the AED monitor and check for vitals and shock the patient if the right conditions are present. When a patient enters cardiac arrest the heart enters into a irregular pattern that only a electric shock through a defibrillator can rectify. Chest compression’s combined with the use of a AED increase the chances of survival for victims in cardiac arrest exponentially. Early defibrillation is essential to preventing the loss of life through cardiac arrest. Rescuers only have minutes to implement a AED if the patient is in cardiac arrest before the condition becomes permanently fatal.
Using a AED is extremely easy and straightforward. If the patient does not have any vitals then the defibrillator should be used immediately for adult victims. Remove the AED from the packaging, turn it on and follow the audio and visual instructions. The AED has a number of components that prevent the rescuer from shocking a victim that would not benefit from it.
The rescuer should have no second thoughts or fears of using a AED on a unconscious patient.
All first aid and CPR courses offered through major providers such as the Red Cross include education and effective use in AED’s. Regardless of what first aid or CPR course a student enrolls in he or she will learn how and when to use a AED. All credible providers allow participants to practice the use of AED’s using AED trainers. Participants will be able to use AED trainers on manikins to receive hands-on practice of the use of an AED.
All Red Cross certification awards state that candidates have received training and are competent in the use of automated external defibrillators.
The attached picture shows a manikin and AED trainer that participants will practice with to learn the skills of using a AED while doing CPR.