When Should The Rescuer Operating The AED Clear The Victim?

Importance of Clearing the Victim

Safety First

Using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) involves delivering an electrical shock to the victim. Clearing the area ensures the safety of both the victim and the rescuers by making sure no one is in contact with the victim's body.

Optimal Effectiveness

Clearing the victim allows the AED to function at its best, increasing the chances of a successful resuscitation. This step is crucial as it helps the AED restore a normal heart rhythm during cardiac arrest.

Clear the Victim Before Analysis

Before Scanning

The rescuer should ensure that nobody is in contact with the victim while the AED is analyzing the heart rhythm. Additionally, it is crucial to expose and keep the victim's chest dry for proper AED pad placement and effective defibrillation.

Voice Commands

AEDs often provide voice prompts. When the device says it’s analyzing, that’s a signal to clear the victim. If the AED prompts 'shock advised,' it is crucial to follow this instruction and ensure no one is touching the victim before administering the shock.

Clear the Victim Before Automated External Defibrillator Shock

Verbal Warnings

The rescuer operating the AED should verbally announce that a shock is about to be administered, often stating, “Clear!” It is crucial to follow AED prompts, waiting for the device to prompt "STAY CLEAR!" before delivering the shock.

Visual Check

Before pressing the shock button, the rescuer should visually confirm that no one is touching the victim. This ensures the AED can accurately analyze the victim's heart rhythm to provide appropriate instructions or deliver a shock if necessary.

Situations That Require Extra Caution

Water and Metals

If the victim is lying in water or is in contact with a metallic object, additional precautions should be taken. Ensure that no one is in contact with the victim's body to allow for effective delivery of electrical shock and accurate assessment of the heart's rhythm by the AED.

Multiple Rescuers

When there are multiple rescuers, each should be informed to clear the area. A verbal confirmation can ensure that everyone is aware. Additionally, multiple rescuers should follow AED prompts to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Post-Shock Guidelines

Immediate Resumption

Chest compressions should resume immediately after the shock is delivered. It is also crucial to provide rescue breathing along with chest compressions to ensure adequate oxygenation, especially if the victim has a pulse. Again, clear the victim before allowing the AED to reanalyze.

Ongoing Monitoring

Even after a successful shock, the AED will likely continue to monitor the victim’s heart rhythm, necessitating future clearings. It is crucial to ensure that the victim is clear of any contact to allow the AED to accurately analyze the victim's heart rhythm and provide appropriate instructions or deliver another shock if necessary.

Best Practices for Rescuers

Training and Familiarity with Effective Chest Compressions

Rescuers should undergo training that specifically deals with AED operation, including when and how to clear the victim. Recognizing abnormal breathing is crucial during AED training, as it helps in identifying signs of breathing distress and determining the need for rescue breathing.

Teamwork and Communication

Effective communication between team members can facilitate the rapid and safe use of the AED. Prompt defibrillation is crucial in cases of sudden cardiac arrest, as it significantly enhances the chances of reviving a person by treating ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia through electrical energy delivered by the AED.

Device Maintenance

Regular checks and updates should be conducted to ensure the AED is in working condition.

Knowing exactly when to clear the victim is a critical part of the AED operation. Missteps can compromise the effectiveness of the defibrillation and pose safety risks. Adequate training and vigilance are key to navigating this crucial aspect of emergency medical response.

CPR + First Aid Certification

Back to blog