AEDs – What You Need to Know

When considerations for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use are made, one has to know how it works and how to utilize the device. For starters, potential rescuers need to locate the AED or have someone familiar with the area locate the device for them. Rescuers will give that assignment to a bystander. While the AED is being quickly located  and brought to the scene, CPR is already in progress. Upon its arrival to the scene, the AED should be opened and turned on.

Depending on the model of the AED, it should either automatically turn on when the case is opened or you might have to press the power button to turn the device on, either way, ensure the device is on. Next, you should follow the prompts as they are given to you by the device.

The first prompt it will give is “Attach Pads”. Grab the pads and place them on the victim as illustrated on each individual pad and then plug the pads in. Once the pads are plugged in, the device will need to analyze, so make sure the pads are properly attached so the victim’s heart rhythm can be analyzed versus the air if you plug the pads in before attaching them to the victim.  

After the  AED has analyzed the victim’s heart rhythm, it will prompt “Shock Advised” or “No Shock Advised”.  If a “No Shock Advised” prompt is given then continue CPR, but if a “Shock Advised” prompt is given then continue CPR while the AED is charging and once it is charged, then the device will prompt for a shock to be delivered. At this point it is critical for the safety of the potential rescuers to “CLEAR” and not be touching the victim, so when the shock is delivered no one is accidentally shocked. When the shock has been delivered, the rescuers should continue to the next round of CPR.

Even though the AED delivers an electrical current powerful enough to restart the heart, there is no need to be afraid of the device. It is merely another tool within the toolbox to use in a cardiac event. Something to think about when you are out and about on your own, look for AEDs in public places you may frequent. Then think about the importance of knowing how to use one properly, if needed. With MyCPR NOW you can acquire this skill and many more by preparing with one of our online manuals and taking the corresponding exam.


CPR + First Aid Certification
Back to blog