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Guidelines for use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

The following sample work shall focus and discuss on the topic of an automated external defibrillator (AED) and it’s a technique of using it along with GAA defibrillator guidelines and scheme.

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In Ireland, every year 10,000 dies due to cardiovascular disease which is considered to be the most common killer in the country.

Automated external defibrillator (AED) is medical portable size equipment that helps in analysing the cardiac health and rhythm of the heart of a patient whenever it is needed. It gives a shock therapy to sudden cardiac arrests in a person.

This live-saving computerised device can increase the survival rate of a person after facing any major cardiac arrest but for that, the device needs to be in proper working condition.

Traditionally AEDs have been used by the professional healthcare only but now it is used by the general public as well. It is made available in the public spaces like the airport, malls, casinos, sports venues and other places in case of any emergency situation.

A cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be used in case of any emergency where there are heart attack signs. One can start with using a CPR on the victim who complains any breathing problem. CPR allows the oxygen-rich blood to flow to the brain and heart and increases the chances of survival of a person.

Ways to operate an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) 

Automated external defibrillator (AED) is very simple to use as all a person needs to know is to ‘switch on’ the device.

After switching on the device it automatically generates a programmed computerised voice that will guide a person to follow the required steps to use it.

  • Firstly, a person needs to place a set of adhesive electrode pads on the bare chest of the victim and if required the pads should be connected into the defibrillator.
  • The defibrillator will automatically start analysing the heart rhythm of the patient which will further determine whether a shock is needed or not. While giving this treatment no physical contact should be made with the victim so that the device shows appropriate results.
  • If it is determined by the defibrillator that a shock is needed then it will change automatically and will instruct the person to deliver a shock to the victim.
  • Once the shock is delivered to the person then close monitoring of breathing needs to be done. If the breathing is running normal then a reminder to start CPR will be made.

Steps to use Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on a patient 

Whenever we see a person running short of breath and palpitating then one must help such a person by asking help from another person and then use AED on the victim.

  • Turning on the AED and following the audio and visual instructions given by the automatic computerised generated device.
  • Opening the shirt of the person and wiping out any medicinal patches or any other devices which are fixed to his body with the help of gloves if possible.
  • Attaching the AED pads and plug in the connector if required.
  • Push the ‘analyze’ button and allow AED to analyze the heart rhythm of the person.
  • If instructed by the device then push the ‘shock’ button for giving a shock to the victim.
  • After delivering the shock a CPR session is advisable for at least five cycles. AED can be continued on the patient as long as he does not show any signs of life and after the patient gains his consciousness his changes in the breathing must be monitored.

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Guidelines for using AED in Ireland 

Automated External Defibrillator can be used by following certain guidelines in Ireland. Conducting a survey is very important to know who is trained in an area, when did they take this training. It also determines that in what other areas such as (clubs, gyms, hotels and malls) that AEDs are available.

  • There are several voluntary organizations in Ireland who can support in establishing such AED programmes to teach people to use AED. The area of the programme must be well defined.

If the area is already well equipped with ADR then CPR programme must be promoted well within the community.

  • The recruitment of the committee members must be clear and unambiguous and their roles must be well defined. They must be trained enough to respond to any emergency situation in their working environment.
  • There are many voluntary, a statutory and private organization that provides training.

The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) is one voluntary organization that offers AED training for the purpose of teaching it’s usage.

It recommends AED users to undergo skill after every 90 days especially those who are not using AED regularly in a community. High level of the training programme must be conducted for selected suitable candidates.

Such training will help them to promote heart health and general wellbeing in the community.

  • AED must be selected properly by understanding the need for it and location must be communicated to the HSE. The best location must be selected considering the other aspects affecting it.

Such AED computerised device must be protected from getting misappropriated by others. It must be kept in the public place in the private cabinets. Number of AEDs in an area depends upon the number of patients in an area.

  • Such an AED device must be well maintained with the utmost care and on its purchase from the seller or manufacturer, the technicality of the device must be explained to its user. The requirements of its maintenance must be explained to the user. It must get a regular checking done to understand the status of the device.

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The above sample explains the automated external defibrillator and its guidelines.

Healthcare Support QQI Level 5, Occupational First Aid Course QQI FETAC Level 5, Medical Terminology and Administration QQI Level 5, Careskills QQI Level 5 students can read this sample specifically to gain knowledge on medical equipment and health.

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