HOW TO USE AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS? | WELLBEING
Ngo Thi Sang | Trainer at First Aid, First Safe Project
WELL-BEING SERVICES JOINT STOCK COMPANY
When a person experiences cardiac arrest, for each passing minute, the victim's survival rate decreases by 10%. In this case, an AED can help the victim restore normal cardiac function and the normal heart rate. However, it is important to know when an AED should/should not be used.
- What are AEDs used for?
Human heart works normally when the atria and ventricle can pump the blood out of the chambers of the heart. However, in some serious cases, the heart, affected by various factors can not beat normally. It contracts a lot but can not pump blood out of the chambers, which is called heart fibrillation.
The victim's chance of survival is 90% with the help from an AED, for the first minutes. The chance decreases by 10% for every minute without an AED. AEDs works to analyze the victim's heart rate and perform defibrillation if need be, to bring back the normal heart condition. In addition, the device instructs the user to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by voice and signal on the LCD screen mounted on its body. Most cardiac arrest victims require CPR. AEDs will help the user conduct CPR on the victim more effectively, increasing the victim's chance of survival.
- When to used AED?
AEDs are usually placed in schools, hotels, businesses/organizations, public places, etc. where sudden cardiac arrest cases are likely to occur. There is no denying that AEDs are effective in saving lives.
Sudden cardiac arrest is mostly caused by ventricular fibrillation, a state in which the heart contracts without producing a proper rhythm. In this case, the only good course of action is to deliver an electrical shock to the heart to defibrillate, re-establishing a proper rhythm, and to perform CPR on the victim.
Additionally, it is important to know when to use an AED. We will use AEDs in case the victim has obvious signs of circulatory arrest:
- Unconsciousness: Check by slapping the victim on the shoulders and calling his/her name loudly
- Not breathing: Check by placing your ear close to the victim's nose and mouth while looking at the victim's chest and watching whether it is moving as usual
- Yawn breathing: This is the victim’s last effort before he/she stops breathing completely. Manifested by the victim's slow breathing, intermittent breathing, and irregular breathing intervals
- No pulse: Check by placing 2 fingers on the patient's wrist or just below the corner of the victim's jaw
- Exclusions for AED?
There are no absolute exclusions for using AEDs, which means AEDs can be used for children, pregnant women, etc in case of cardiac arrest. However, AEDs should not be used for:
- Situations in which the AED can not analyze the condition of the victim accurately
- Situations in which the AED can do harm to the victim or people around because the device can become very dangerous if used in wrong ways
- Situations in which the victim is lying in water or staying wet
- Situations in which the AED’s battery is low or the victim is below 8 are there are not enough pads for children because the device can not analyze accurately to give a proper electric shock without enough power and suitable pads, which can do harm to the victim
- Children under 1 becaus
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