How to Use an AED

An AED (Automated External Defilbrillator) can assist people who undergo an irregular heartbeat. This condition may lead to a heart attack, but using an AED may prevent this.

Preparing the AED

Open the AED box by snapping the buttons on its sides. This will turn on the AED. If it doesn’t, turn it on. Instructions will appear. Connect the cables to the container.

There are adult and children pads. Pick the appropriate one. Take off the backing from the pad. The box has a diagram detailing how to take off the pad. Follow it.

How to Apply the AED

Make certain there isn’t any sweat or water on the victim’s chest. Take off clothing on the chest and arms. Put the AED pads on the chest. Set one below the nipple and another one on the upper right chest. Grab the connector on the pad. Insert it into the console. The adapter is very conspicuous so plugging and using an AED won’t be difficult.

If there are people around the victim, tell them to back off. The box will state “analyzing heart rhythm, do not touch the patient.” Repeat this statement so people won’t come near the victim. Depending on the situation, the apparatus will advice CPR or shock.

Shock and CPR

If shock is recommended, press the orange button. In most cases the button is labeled “shock”. Again, do not touch the patient. The current will be either 150 or 360 joules. After shock is administered, start giving CPR.

CPR should continue for two minutes. In some cases, the AED will determine when CPR is to be given. Follow the directions. When using an AED, it’s crucial you follow all the instructions. It can make the difference between life and death.


The AED box is easily identifiable. It is red and has a lightning bolt. You can find them in shopping malls, parks and other public places. It is also present in ambulances and all medical facilities.

Make sure you do CPR properly. If you don’t perform CPR correctly, it could damage some ribs. Apply chest and breathing treatment only if there is no pulse. If there’s a pulse, perform breathing only. Blow every 5 seconds. Check after 2 minutes. Repeat if necessary.


Use the razor in the AED box to remove hairs on the chest. This is needed before you can start using an AED. If there is no razor, use one of the pads to take off the hair. Make sure the pad is clean before using it. Take off the medication patch before using the pad.

A hard lump on the upper chest means there’s a pacemaker. Put the AED a couple of inches on its side. Never utilize an AED on children below a year old. Never try an AED on a metal surface.

Finally, it’s vital that you don’t hesitate. The more you hesitate, the less chance the victim has of survival. Using an AED can be a real lifesaver, so don’t think twice about helping.

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