1. What does AED stand for?
• Automated external defibrillator
2. What is an AED/Defibrillator?
• An AED is a device that is used to shock a person in cardiac arrest. They are designed to establish the rhythm and if identified as shockable – these will administer a shock to stun the heart and try to establish the natural pacemaker.
3. Do I have to have an AED in my workplace? Is it law that you have to have an AED at work? Why should I have an AED in my workplace?
• There is currently no legal requirement to have an AED. However, if your normal first aid needs risk assessment identifies people may be at risk (e.g. ageing workforce, high volumes or staff undertaking physical work,) then an AED may be appropriate.
4.Are AEDs easy to use?
• Yes - After turning on the AED (some turn on automatically when opened), the user is guided at every step by voice prompts and a visual display.
5. Do I have to be trained to use an AED?
• In a workplace situation, it will be sensible to train first-aiders or ‘appointed persons’ in the use of an AED. However other, untrained, members of staff should be instructed that if a person collapses and no trained person is readily available, they should use the AED, following the verbal and other prompts that it gives. They should be reassured that they will not be subject to any criticism or blame, and will be shielded by the Employer’s Liability Insurance against any litigation if the person dies. By using an AED they cannot make the victim’s condition worse since the device will only discharge its shock if the victim has a heart rhythm that will lead to death if they do not receive a shock.
6. Can AEDs be used on children as well as adults?
• Yes, standard AED are suitable for use on children older than 8 years. Mediana A15 has Paediatric Mode and Mediana A10 can be provide with a set of Paediatric Pads that enable it to be used under 8's.
7. Can an AED be used when it is wet or raining?
• Yes. The AED operator may need to dry the casualty’s chest to ensure that the AED electrodes stick well and ensure a good electrical contact.
8. Can an AED be used on a pregnant woman?
• Yes. The most important thing to do is assist the mother as the child will not survive otherwise.
9. Has anyone been sued in the UK for using an AED on a casualty who did not
• To date, no one in the UK, USA or Australia has been successfully sued for using an AED on a person in cardiac arrest and failing to revive them.
10. What if I use an AED and make things worse by shocking someone that does not need shocking?
• It is impossible to shock someone that does not require it. An AED cannot make the situation worse or allow a shock to be given to a healthy person.
11. Are AEDs dangerous unless used by a medical professional?
No. An AED is designed to be used by anyone – even people who have never seen or used one before.
12. Should an AED be kept in a locked cabinet?
• Bringing an AED to the casualty as quickly as possible is the priority – so the AED should be readily available. However, alarmed cabinets may be advisable for locations where security is an issue.
13. What is the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?
• Normally, a person having a heart attack is conscious and their heart is working well enough at that moment to sustain life. A person in cardiac arrest is unconscious and their heart isn’t working effectively or at all. Their breathing maybe absent or abnormal.
14. Could I kill someone if I try to use an AED?
• No. A person in cardiac arrest is already clinically dead. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early use of an AED can significantly increase their chances of survival; the instigation of this sequence of events is known as the ‘chain of survival’. An AED will not allow a shock to be given to someone unless they are in cardiac arrest.
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