Restart Hearts with the use of AEDs
Updated: Oct 25
When the heart abruptly and unexpectedly stops pumping blood, this is known as sudden cardiac arrest. It can happen to anybody, at any moment, and the symptoms include a rapid collapse and loss of consciousness.
Unlike heart attacks, which are caused by a blockage in an artery leading to the heart, sudden cardiac arrest is caused by a failure in the heart's electrical system. This causes irregular cardiac rhythms, known as arrhythmias, which render the heart unable to pump and send blood.
If a cardiac arrest occurs at that time, prompt and urgent treatment using a medical device known as an automated external defibrillator or better known as AED can save a person's life.
An AED is a sort of computerised defibrillator that examines the heart rhythm of patients who have gone into cardiac arrest. It provides an electrical shock to the heart when necessary to restore its regular beat.
The conversion of a ventricular arrhythmia to its normal rhythm by an electrical shock is called defibrillation.
Defibrillation is time-sensitive.
The probability of survival decreases by 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute that a victim stays in a life-threatening arrhythmia. Many AEDs Are in Plain Sight
You can find AEDs in many public places, including offices, schools, shopping malls, grocery stores, and airports.
Emergency first-responders are typically equipped with and trained to use AEDs. Some people with underlying cardiac conditions can be at a higher risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
How AEDs Work
An AED system consists of an AED equipment as well as peripherals such as a battery, pad electrodes, and, if necessary, an adaptor. Users are given clear and precise spoken directions via the gadgets.
Here's how they work:
The user turns on the AED and follows the voice prompts. Some devices turn on automatically when the user opens the lid.
The user attaches two sticky pads with sensors (called electrodes) on the chest of the person in cardiac arrest.
The electrodes send information about the person’s heart rhythm to a processor in the AED, which then analyzes the rhythm to find out whether an electric shock is needed.
If a defibrillation shock is needed, the AED uses the voice prompts to instruct when to press a button to deliver the shock. In some devices, the voice prompts announce that a shock is going to be delivered and the AED delivers the shock without intervention by the user.
Training to Use AEDs
AEDs are not difficult to use, but training in the use of AEDs is highly recommended. The training here at Singapore First Aid Training Centre, in connection with CPR training, is offered to many individuals.
And now more and more courses are made accesible with E-learning as an option.
Our classes can teach you how to recognize the signs of a sudden cardiac arrest, when to call emergency medical services, how to do CPR, and how to use an AED.
Some people may be afraid to use an AED because they’re worried something may go wrong. But the Good Samaritan laws provide some protection for bystanders who respond to emergencies.
But as always, in an emergency, call 995 immediately.
If you’re somewhere that has an emergency response system that includes a clearly visible number, call that number for assistance.
In either case, an operator can give instructions on how you can help someone who has sudden cardiac arrest.
To learn more about how to use an AED, SGFirstAid recommends taking a basic first aid course in CPR for parents and caregivers. These classes will give you a chance to practice CPR and use an AED. SgFirstAid also supports age-appropriate life-support training for students, including CPR for older children and all staff, in all schools starting with the primary grades. SgFirstAid also encourages learning how to properly used the AED you see around the island and lift landings, so you and those around you know how to use them. Designed for laypersons and delivered in just 4 hours, the CPR+AED Course will show you how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) with precision, and how to apply and operate an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) effectively during a cardiac arrest scenario.
The course also covers the important do's and don'ts of that all rescuers must know when performing CPR and AED. Accredited by the Singapore Resuscitation and First Aid Council (SRFAC).
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