If someone collapses and appears to have had a heart attack you should of course call for an ambulance. However if the situation is serious enough and you have the tools and the ability it may be necessary for you to use an Automated External Defibrillator in order to try and save their life while help arrives.

Check That They Are Unconscious

The first thing you should do is to make sure that the individual concerned is unconscious, as Automated External Defibrillators should never be used on someone who is still awake. If it is an adult or an older child that has collapsed, you should shake and shout at them in order to make sure that they are unconscious. Do not shake a younger child or infant but pinch their skin to confirm their lack of consciousness. If the person’s pulse or breathing are irregular or absent, then you should use an Automated External Defibrillator as soon as you possibly can.

Find A Dry Place

Before you use the AED you should ensure that the patient is situated somewhere dry and well away from anywhere that contains puddles of water. You should then examine them for any signs of body piercings or implanted medical devices along the lines of an implantable defibrillator or pacemaker. If there are any such implanted devices or piercings, then you need to make certain that the AED pads are positioned on their person at least an inch away from such items.

Treating A Child

If at all possible when the patient is a newborn baby, an infant or a child up to the age of eight, you should make use of a paediatric Automated External Defibrillator. If this is simply not possible, then it is still better to use the adult version than to do nothing.

How To Use An AED

The next step is to ensure that the Automated External Defibrillator has been turned on. You should wipe the patient’s chest until it is dry and then attach the pads to their chest, if necessary plugging in the connector. Ensure that nobody else within the vicinity – including you – is touching the patient and then push the Analyse button. This will advise you if it is appropriate to shock the patient. If so, again make sure that they are not being touched by you or anyone else and activate the Shock button. You should then begin or carry on giving chest compressions and follow any and all prompts given to you by the Automated External Defibrillator.

CPR Guidelines

CPR should be given to the patient for around two minutes. You should then check their heart rhythm and if it remains irregular or entirely absent, shock them again. If this is not the case, then continue to give CPR until either the patient begins moving on their own or help arrives. You should stay with the person until professional help arrives on the scene in the form of an ambulance. Training ordinary people to use an Automated External Defibrillator can make a real difference and save lives.