First Aid: AED Tips

Participants enrolled in emergency first aid will learn skills and techniques for using automated external defibrillators (AED). This technology has significantly increased the chances of survival for victims of cardiac arrest. In emergency scenarios that involve a cardiac arrest, CPR has a low chance of reviving the victim. Coupling CPR with the use of AED increases the chances of survival by as much as 800%. AEDs are designed to analyze the rhythm provided through a victim’s sinoatrial node or S.A. node which is the “pacemaker” of the heart. If the patient’s S.A. node is providing an abnormal rhythm such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation the AED is designed to prompt the rescuer to shock the victim. The design of an AED is basic and simple to use with no machine having more than 2 main buttons, one to power and the other to shock. This page is designed to give candidates additional tips on using an AED. The material posted on this page is for information purposes only, to learn to use an AED and take an emergency first aid course with one of our training providers near you. Our workplace-approved training providers offer emergency first aid training in Vancouver. Other training locations include Surrey, Kelowna, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Winnipeg.

All provided AED Tips are for emergency first aid courses using 2011 standards.

The following is a list of First Aid AED tips:

  • Rescuers should not be hesitant in using an AED. An AED will not shock a patient if the analysis does not provide a rhythm for which a shock will benefit a patient. AEDs are simple to use and get simple and straightforward voice prompts.
  • When the AED arrives the rescuer if alone, will turn on the unit and attempt to do CPR as effectively as possible until the AED commands do not allow for the rescuer to continue with CPR. The rescuer should always turn on the AED when it arrives and follow the prompts. Do not try to assemble the AED and place the pads onto the victim without turning the unit on.
  • The AED pads are for one-time use only. Rescuers should be careful not to touch the adhesive, especially when wearing gloves. Rescuers should attempt to place the pads in the appropriate locations as they would place a band-aid. Rescuers should be careful to place the pads on the directed location as they are one-time use only and can not be re-used if placed on the wrong spot.
    AED Trainer Pads
    AED Pads are used to “shock” the patient.
  • The patient’s chest should be bare skin and dry. The AED pads will stick to patients with hairy chests. Shaving a victim’s chest will take a significant amount of time and is irrelevant as the pads will stick to the hair and chest. Rescuers should avoid placing the pads that will cause the electric shock to travel through any metal (except for automated internal defibrillators).
  • The AED pads can be placed in alternating locations as long as they meet the required locations as posted on the alternative pads.
  • Adult pads can be used on a child, however, child pads can not be used on an adult. The electric current for a child is not effective for the irregular rhythms of an adult patient.
  • During the analysis phase, it is the ideal time for a rescuer to alternate positions for chest compressions. If more than one rescuer is present switch the role for the person doing chest compression during the analysis phase.

For more information or to learn to use an AED effectively take an emergency first aid course. Participants enrolled with credible first aid and CPR providers will learn to use an AED by using AED trainers. Participants will learn about the above-mentioned tips and many more. Learn to save a life by learning to use an automated external defibrillator.