All AEDs are attached to the victim by a cable connected to two adhesive pads or electrodes placed on the victim's chest. The pad and cable system sends the electrical signal from the heart into the device for analysis and delivers the electric shock to the victim as needed.
There are many manufacturers making AEDs today. The principles for use are the same for each, however the displays, controls and options will vary slightly. You should become familiar with the use of your specific AED. All AEDs have the following elements in common:
- Power on/off mechanism
- Cable and pads (electrodes)
- Analysis capability
- De-fibrillation capability
- Prompts to guide you
- Battery operation for portability
- Power on the AED by either pressing the on/off button or by opening the AED case lid. Listen carefully to the AED instructions.
- Expose the victim's chest. Dry wet skin as necessary to allow placement of the AED pads. Excessive chest hair may need to be removed using a razor prior to pad placement.
- Remove the backing from each pad and apply them firmly to the victim's bare chest according to the pictogram on the pads.
- Make sure the cable is attached to the AED and stand clear while the AED analyzes the victims heart electrical activity.
- When advised to shock the victim, ensure that no one is in contact with the victim prior to pressing the shock button. Be prepared to administer CPR when prompted by the AED.