AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. This is a device that assists with diagnosing possible irregular heartbeats and any associated conditions which may result in death. The defibrillator is used to apply electrical currents which stop arrhythmia and help return the heart to beating at its normal rate.
Generally AEDs are made to make them usable by anyone trained in its use; its use is usually essential for persons enrolled in First Aid and CPR classes as well as Basic Life support classes.
The devise is usually used to treat pulse-less ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation. Both conditions see the heart beating erratically and pumping blood becomes difficult via the ventricular veins. If this persists beyond five minutes, then the heart will gradually cease to beat and result in brain damage and possibly death.
The AED is then used in tandem with the CPR techniques and the administration of drugs to stimulate the heart. It should never be introduced prior to the administration of the drugs and CPR. All undergarments which contain metal or any body piercing must be removed prior to the use the defibrillator. A patient’s survival is dependent on the successful use of all three in a timely manner as each minute counts.
Ideally automated external defibrillators should be placed in public domains for use especially where there are large groups. This will make them easily accessible to those who need it in an emergency. AEDs are also used in some ambulances and emergency type vehicles such police and fire vehicles. In some instances this is given to specially identified persons within communities to assist persons who may have sudden cardiac arrest. They are however becoming increasingly popular in the transportation industry of some countries.
To ensure that they are easily identified in public spaces they are usually protective brightly adorned and conspicuously placed cases. Upon removal the trained person should contact as soon as possible emergency services and begin use the AED. Appropriate signage is also utilized for visibility as required by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation.
For increased use, persons have also resorted to buying AEDs for usage at home especially those with heart conditions. Prices have also afforded this possibility though there has been the view by persons in the medical profession that only trained personnel should utilize AEDs. It is recommended that the appropriate personnel be trained instead to respond to such emergencies in communities.
Using an AED is quite simple if it is automatic. It will sense the need for a shock to the heart and administer it to the patient. It may also be used by following the instructions given by a voice prompt. This of course is all dependent on the model AED being used.