AED Precautions You Have to Consider

by Craig Rad - Date: 2007-05-26 - Word Count: 772 Share This!

The precaution and proper use of defibrillators is one important chapter, and it is included in the standardized curriculum of the AED basic training course . The American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the National Safety Council approved and published these precautions for the safety of both the patient and the user of the AED. After the occurrence of the incident you have to look for an AED emergency kit right away.

It is likely that you will find one at the building entrance if you are in a public place or building, because this is the standard place for these kits. Make sure you are familiarized with the contents of the kit. You'll probably find two pads, a CPR barrier mask, a piece of cloth or a towel, scissors, a pair of gloves and possibly a razor. So go though these automated external defibrillator precautions in order to avoid other accidents from happening.

1. First of all, check the patient for pulse. If you cannot sense the pulse you may proceed, and let the AED determine if there are heartbeats at all. In most of the cases the AED will indicate if there is a pulse and if defibrillation is needed.

2. You might want to try to perform a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before taking any further action. But make sure that the AED device is not analyzing the rhythm. This may cause some unpleasant accidents. Many AED devices possess motion and CPR detector, but you won't have time to determine that in a crisis.

3. The AED device should be used with great care if the patient is in a moving means of transportation. The movement of a vehicle may affect the analysis the AED makes, which won't be accurate and consequently it will perform incorrect tasks.

However, if employed while transporting the patient to hospital, stop and take the pulse several times and do monitoring checks with the help of the AED. Some AED models are smart enough to distinguish between external movement and cardiac movement.

4. Beware of water!

Before performing the defibrillation, make sure the chest of the patient is completely dry. In the AED kit you will find a piece of cloth or a towel that is set there exactly with the purpose of drying the patient's chest. Sweat or water spots make certain parts of the chest be less resistant and the defibrillation might not be very effective. Besides, the presence of water may lead to local burns. Also make sure that the patient has no contact with water. It the patient is in a pool or outside, in wet weather, take the patient under a safe shelter and dry the chest before taking any further action.

However, do not use alcohol to dry the chest of the patient. As you may probably know, alcohol is very flammable.

5. Take a close look at the patient's chest. It should be free of nitroglycerine patches or any other patches or materials. Get rid of any patches before performing the defibrillation. The nitroglycerine patches may cause explosion when in contact with the AED pads.

6. Make sure the patient does not lie on a conductive surface like sheet metal or metal bleachers. These conductors may transmit the shock to other people that are in the patient's neighborhood.

7. Keep your hands off the patient while performing the defibrillation.

Also make sure no-one else touches the patient. If these rules are not respected, you or others might get the electric shock. Touching the patient while the AED performs the analysis will not give accurate results.

8. An AED should not be used on children under the age of 8, or under 55 pounds.

Some AEDs are not able to adjust to the low-energy settings that are required for children. Anyway, there are several AED devices on the market that may resuscitate even children under 8. So check the packaging of the device before using it.

9. Take a look at the environment where you will perform the resuscitation!

You shouldn't perform a defibrillation if you are among flammable supplies such as gasoline or free-flowing oxygen. Also, the AED should be used with prudence when there is strong electromagnetic interference (EMI). The AED might detect false cardiac rhythm when there is electromagnetic interference.

10. Careful with the cell phones and portable radios- the waves cause trouble!

It is highly important to notify an ambulance of the incident and the cell phone is the most effective device, but make sure you keep all cell phones at least 6 feet away from the patient and the AED. The cell phone may influence the analysis. Radios have the same effect on the AED, so keep all radios away.

Related Tags: heart, grants, kits, defibrillator, aed, cardiac

AED resources: AED programs, AED course, AED defibrillator electrodes

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