Jun 25

Tips for Using An Automated External Defibrillator


It’s a common fact that heart attacks, or cardiac arrests, are not just an issue for old people or middle aged men, and the latest statistics reveal that a staggering 22% of sudden deaths that occur between the ages of 1 and 21 are down to a cardiac arrest. Way back in 2008, the American Red Cross changed their advice and recommended the automated use of defibrillators on newborns for the first time, and that is still prevalent today.

Women and Coronary Heart Disease

As far as women were concerned, the American Heart Association announced in 2008 that the death rate in women aged 35-44 from coronary heart disease was rising every year, and that this was the main cause of death for this age group, more than the following 5 causes combined, which included all forms of cancer. The perception that heart disease is mainly restricted to men has been blown clear out of the water.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Is A Silent Killer

The worst part about a sudden cardiac arrest is that there are generally no warning signs, hence we hear about people sitting watching television who die, or those who keel over while cutting the grass in their back yard. The majority of victims are asymptomatic, and weren’t considered to be at high risk from heart attacks and as the years have gone on, there are more women that men falling victim to sudden cardiac arrest.

There are a few other facts that you should be aware of too; 75-80% of cardiac arrests that occurs outside of hospital happen in the home, around 95% of sudden victims of cardiac arrest die before they reach hospital and if CPR or defibrillation is not administered within approximately 4-6 minutes after the attack the brain starts to die, so the window for resuscitation is very small indeed.


A course in CPR is highly recommended as this in combination with the automated external defibrillator offers the best chance of survival, and if CPR is not administered the victims chances fall by 7-10% for every minute that there is a delay is either getting CPR or defibrillation.

These are just some of the many reasons why AED have become so popular so quickly, and the fact that they are so simple to use is another bonus.

Unless external defibrillation and/or CPR is given within minutes of the collapse then resuscitation is practically impossible, and around 310,000 deaths due to adult coronary heart disease occur every year in the US outside of hospitals. The message is clear, if you want anyone to survive a cardiac arrest in the home, make sure that the family are trained in CPR and that you have a automated external defibrillator.

Best AED

These are recognized steps in the cardiac chain of survival and will genuinely save lives. The best kind of automated external defibrillator to invest your cash in are those that take you through the procedure of using them with voice prompts. These take the guess work out of using these machines, as well as eliminating the chances of your mind going blank in an emergency situation and forgetting what to do.

They will also tell you if the defibrillator is actually needed or not by being able to detect whether there is any activity in the heart and whether the electric shocks are needed. They also prompt you as to how to check for a pulse, as if the heart hasn’t stopped you should never use a defibrillator. The voice prompts take you through all these steps so the chances of error are minimized.

Steps To Save Lives

If a loved one falls to the ground in front of you the first step is to call 911 then check for a pulse. If there is no sign of life grab the automated external defibrillator and follow its prompts. If a shock is needed you will be guided as to where to put the paddles and the voltage automatically calculated. Following the instructions, the electrical charge will enter the heart, jolting the muscles and, hopefully, causing the blood to flow through it once again, effectively bringing them back to life.

This action could well mean the difference between life and death, and the fact that they are alive when the paramedics arrive greatly improves their chances of making a complete recovery.