Automated External Defibrillation
What is an Automated External Defibrillator?
To meet the need for early defibrillation, automated external defibrillators or AEDs are commonly used. Early defibrillation is currently considered as the most effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation. Hence, AED is an important unit even in noncritical care units. The equipment can interpret a victim’s cardiac rhythm even and gives the operator step-by-step instructions on how to proceed if defibrillation is indicated.
Automated external defibrillators are equipped with a microcomputer. This is the main feature that enables the machine to analyze a patient’s heart by simply pushing a button. After sensing the condition, AED audible and visually prompts the health care provider to deliver a shock.
- Automated external defibrillator
- Two pre-packaged electrodes
D – Do NOT proceed to defibrillation unless you confirmed that your patient is unresponsive to your questions, pulseless and apneic. Follow BLS and ACLS protocols and ask a colleague to bring the AED and set it up in the patient’s room.
E – Electrode pads should be uncovered. Attach the white electrode cable connector to one pad and the red electrode cable connector to the other. The electrode pads are not site-specific.
F – Firmly remove the plastic backing film from the electrode pads after exposing the patient’s chest. Place the electrode pad attached to the white cable connector on the right upper portion of the patient’s chest, just beneath his clavicle.
I – In remembering well where to place the pads, think “white-right, red-ribs.” Place the pad attached to the RED cable connector to the LEFT of the heart’s apex.
B – Be sure to firmly press the device’s ON button. Then, wait while the machine performs a brief self-test. To signal the automated external defibrillator’s readiness, a computerized voice that says “Stand clear” or emission of a series of loud beeps will be heard. If the machine is not functioning properly, a message will be conveyed by the AED, “Don’t use the AED. Remove and continue CPR.”
R – Readiness confirmation of the AED’s use to analyze the patient’s heart rhythm should be followed by asking everyone to stand clear and press the ANALYZE button per machine’s instruction. While the machine is in analysis mode, be careful not to touch or move the patient. A message that says, “Get electrodes,” should prompt the care provider to recheck and ensure that the electrodes are correctly placed and the patient’s cable is securely attached. After doing so, press the ANALYZE button again.