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Automated External Defibrillators (AED) (cont.)

How to Operate an Automated External Defibrillator

  • Regardless of which brand of AED is used, the only knowledge required to operate it is to press the "ON" button.
  • Once the AED is turned on, it actually speaks to you in a computer-generated voice that guides you through the rest of the procedure.
  • You will be prompted to place a set of adhesive electrode pads on the victim's bare chest and, if necessary, to plug in the pads' connector to the AED.
  • The AED will then begin to automatically analyze the person's ECG rhythm to determine if a shock is required. It is critical that no contact be made with the person while the machine is analyzing the ECG. If the person is touched or disturbed, the ECG may not be accurate.
  • If the machine determines that a shock is indicated, it will automatically charge itself and tell you when to press the button that will deliver the shock.
  • This shock is the same shock that would be delivered be a physician in the emergency department or a paramedic in the ambulance, if the patient were being treated there.
  • Once the shock is delivered you will be prompted to resume CPR.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/23/2015
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