Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 3 (VTQ)

117 videos, 6 hours and 42 minutes

Course Content

AED Overview

Video 81 of 117
10 min 45 sec
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Unlocking the Potential of AEDs

Increasing Prevalence of AEDs

AEDs are on the rise, with a notable presence on High Streets. Discover them in their distinctive yellow boxes outside many shops. However, they are not limited to commercial areas but also play a crucial role in the emergency services and private ambulance sectors.

The Life-Saving Defibrillator

At their core, AEDs are defibrillators, designed to reset the heart's rhythm, making it sustainable for life. These units are remarkably user-friendly, ensuring straightforward operation.

Remarkable Safety Record

Noteworthy statistics: No individual worldwide has ever faced legal repercussions for incorrect AED use. These devices are programmed to guide users through correct procedures, eliminating the risk of misuse.

Anatomy of an AED

Understanding the key components:

  • Self-Monitoring: AEDs conduct daily self-tests to ensure operational readiness, signaling issues through alarms or alerts.
  • Visual Indicators: Units feature clear lights, often green for readiness and red for service needs. A green light means it's "rescue ready" and requires no further action.
  • Expiry Check: A clear window displays a date corresponding to the pads' expiration date. Pads typically last up to two years.
  • Pads: Pads contain a water-based gel and come sealed. Once opened, the unit is alerted, and they are for single use only.

Universal Usage

AEDs are designed for everyone:

  • No Mandatory Training: In the UK and Europe, no formal training is legally required to operate an AED. Units adhere to European guidelines, ensuring consistency across the board.
  • Diverse Manufacturers: Multiple manufacturers offer AEDs, each with distinct features. However, all AEDs follow the same European guidelines.

Activating the AED

When ready to use the AED:

  • Initialization: Open the lid to initiate the unit's full self-test, which typically takes a few seconds.
  • Pad Placement: Pads are conveniently stored in the lid, sealed and ready to use.
  • Voice-Guided Assistance: The AED provides step-by-step audio instructions, including when to start CPR, compression speed, breaths, and duration.
  • Accelerated Shock Delivery: AEDs recognize swift pad placement and expedite shock delivery, improving survival chances. Survival rates drop by 10-20% per minute of delay in shock delivery.

Child-Specific Considerations

For child patients:

  • AED Adaptation: AEDs automatically adjust for adults and children, setting appropriate joule levels. Child pad placement follows specific rules.

Pad Placement and Instructions

Understanding pad placement:

  • Visual Guidance: Follow the AED's instructions, either through pictures or verbal commands.
  • Electrical Conductivity: Pads maintain electrical conductivity, allowing the AED to monitor heart rate and rhythm.
  • Defibrillation Decision: The AED autonomously decides whether a shock is necessary, relieving users of this responsibility.

Fully Automatic vs. Semi-Automatic

Different AED types:

  • Fully Automatic: The AED autonomously decides to shock and initiates a countdown for shock delivery.
  • Semi-Automatic: Users must press a button when prompted for shock delivery, only active when the button is lit.

Constant Monitoring

AEDs monitor user actions, including compression rate and depth.