How to Save a Life: Tips To Using an AED Properly

Automated external defibrillators (AKA, AEDs) are portable devices that restart the heart of someone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), one of the top heart-related causes of death worldwide.

Users must remember that there are two critical times for an AED: 

  • AED training and maintenance, also called “Before You Have an Emergency.” 
  • The second is using the AED to save a life, called “During an Emergency”. 

AED Use Before an Emergency

Owners of an AED are responsible for its upkeep. Here are some tips for keeping your AED in good condition to work correctly when you need it.

  • Automated external defibrillators are highly recommended for any facility that is a public place, such as a restaurant or a school. People who plan to keep an AED around at their home should check to ensure it is in proper condition, including securing its battery, holding a full charge, and being appropriately maintained. 
  • Experts recommend checking your AED once every month to ensure it can do its job when you need it.

AED Use During an Emergency

The first step of using an AED is to stay calm. When a person is in cardiac arrest, the environment becomes highly stressful because: 

  • Unless you are trained to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest, this may only happen once in your lifetime. 
  • The person you may be saving is someone you know. Do not freak out when you see them lying there.
  • Their life is on the line, and adrenaline will often kick in and affect your decision-making ability. 

Most people have never used an AED before. The unknowns can be scary, so training yourself and your employees on operating such a device is critical for an emergency. 

As professional athletes train their bodies for competitions, you and your employees must be ready for your emergency plan. Have strategies in place and know what to do without thinking about it. These preparations will significantly help in a high-stress emergency.

  • Immediately Contact 911: If you see another person experiencing a cardiac event, call medical assistance ASAP. The average response time after reaching 911 is 7–14 minutes. If the person is suffering from SCA, the chance of survival decreases by 7–10 percent every minute the person doesn't receive a defibrillation shock.

  • Begin CPR: Right after calling 911, immediately start compression-only CPR regardless of whether an AED is immediately available or not. 
  • Compression-only CPR will circulate oxygen and blood to the brain and vital organs until emergency responders arrive with advanced equipment to resuscitate the victim. Doing so will give the victim a chance of survival if oxygen is not starved from the brain.

  • Then, Use the AED: Finally, after you have accomplished the first two steps, you should locate an AED, which can be found in just about every public building, like a school or a gym, and follow the instructions given to you by the device.

  • Use it to analyse the victim’s heart and determine if they are suffering from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and, if needed, deliver a shock to the victim’s heart. If the situation is more complex than the AED can handle, or if SCA is not the problem, it will instruct you to deliver CPR. 
  • If a higher level of care is required, learnings from short CPR/AED training courses can save lives.

    Acquire an AED from Restart the Heart

    CPR and AED will keep a patient suffering from SCA or unconsciousness alive until proper medical help can be administered. That’s why it’s essential to know these tips in an emergency. The life you save could prevent a loss of a husband, wife, child, co-worker or loved one. 

    Thoroughly prepare for incidents like these with an AED from Restart the Heart! We are a trusted defibrillator supplier in Australia that supplies AED peripherals for all brands with fast delivery and excellent customer care. Check out our online store today!