Can I hurt someone with an AED?
Hey there, thanks so much for joining us today. I'm putting a quick post together to talk more about AED machines and a common question we get in a lot of our first aid, CPR, AED classes regarding getting injured or injuring someone with an AED machine.
The important thing that we want to take a look at is AED machines need to ramp up a charge in order to deliver an electrical shock. They'll only do that if they determine through analysis that the individual has a shockable heart rhythm that would require electrical shock to help restore normal cardiac rhythm. Those rhythms are typically a ventricular fibrillation or possibly pulseless ventricular tachycardia. These two medical conditions have an electrical rhythm in the heart that is actually shockable, and the machine would analyze, assess, and determine that's what's happening.
It'll ramp up to deliver that charge and then push the electrical charge, whether it's a semi-automatic, in other words, there's a button for you to push, or if it's fully automatic, in other words, it'll advise everyone to stay clear and it will push the charge itself. A lot of times we get this misconception that as soon as we hit the shock button, it shocks. That is not how these devices operate. In order to shock, a shockable rhythm must be detected. The good thing about AED machines and technology we have today is you can't accidentally hurt someone using them. They're extremely safe to use.
Two steps to use them:
1- You turn the device (they have audible and visual prompts)
2- Follow the prompts it gives you, do exactly as it says and shows (if visual displays are available)
In closing- AEDs are incredibly safe and effective to use on any person to help restore a normal cardiac rhythm during a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Simply turn them on and follow those prompts!