When Do You Use an AED? 10 Situations When It’s Necessary

AED box or Automated External Defibrillator medical first aid device isolated on white background

Do you own an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)? Do you have one at home or in the office?

An AED is something good to have on standby. Studies show that an AED can help save over 3,400 people who are having a heart attack outside of the hospital.

The question now is, when do you use an AED?

Knowing when to use an AED is as important as knowing how to use it. Unfortunately, 3 out of 5 Americans are unsure if they are capable of operating an AED correctly.

Continue reading below as we look into the different scenarios where you should use an AED.

When Do You Use an AED? 10 Key Situations

One of the keys to surviving a heart attack is taking action during the next few minutes that follow. This means before the paramedics arrive, you need to start doing something to help the victim.

This is where the AED comes into the picture. Let’s take a look at 10 situations where using an AED is necessary.

In a Public Place

Heart attacks can happen anywhere, especially in crowded public places. When someone collapses inside a mall, instruct someone to call 911. Instruct another to get the nearest AED.

Unfortunately, only 50% of Americans know where to find the nearest available AED.
Check the person’s airways for any blockages. If there is none, check if the person is breathing.

If he is not breathing, check if they still have a pulse. If there is none, you may start using the AED. Turn on the machine and apply the pads to the victim’s chest.

Follow the instructions that come with the AED. Wait for the paramedics to arrive.

During a Car Accident

After assessing the scene of the accident, check if the driver or the passengers are conscious. If they are, then there is no need to use an AED. But it is wise to instruct someone to get the nearest AED and have it on standby.

In severe car accidents, there is a chance that the victims may lose consciousness. This can happen while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

When Someone Collapses

If you are walking along the street and someone collapses to the ground, approach the person and assess the situation. Call 911 and talk to the victim. You can shake and shout at them to see if they will respond.

If they are unconscious and you happen to be alone, do not leave the person to get the AED. Instead, provide continuous compressions on the victim.

Once someone walks by, instruct him to secure the nearest AED. Continue with the compressions while waiting for the AED.

Unconscious in the Water

If you are having fun on the beach and see someone floating in the water face-down, approach the person immediately. If they are unconscious, pull him inside your boat.

Call 911 or the lifeguard if there is any. Check the victim’s airways and remove any blockage. Check for their breathing and pulse. Remove clothing that may restrict their breathing.

If there is no pulse, you can start using the AED. Dry off the victim’s chest before attaching the pads. Like in other instances, follow the AED’s instructions while waiting for emergency responders.

Cardiac Arrest at Home

Close to 70% of cardiac arrests that happen outside of the hospital take place in homes. When you see your relative on the ground and unconscious, call 911 immediately while taking out the AED.  

The key to turning things around is placing your AED in an accessible spot. Instruct someone to get the device for you. Follow the instructions until the paramedics arrive.

Heart Attack in Schools

Believe it or not, heart attacks can also happen in schools. Though the students are unlikely to suffer from cardiac arrest, it is not the same with the teachers.

Thus, schools need to have an AED on standby. Like helping a victim in a public place, clear the area and check for his vital signs.

Call 911 and use the AED accordingly while waiting for help to arrive. Make sure that the students and other people make enough breathing room for the patient.

An Intense Sporting Event

Intense sporting events can also cause cardiac arrest. Sometimes, it is not only the intense fan that succumbs to the heart attack but also the athlete.

The key is to clear out space to improve ventilation for the patient. Instruct the people around you to call 911. Instruct another to find the AED and proceed with the necessary steps as in other situations.

In a Flight

This is one tricky situation. You are thousands of miles up in the air and away from the hospital. Thankfully, airplanes have an AED on standby for emergency situations.

If you do not know how to use an AED, the flight crew have the training to use the AED and conduct CPR.

In the Gym

There are people who put their bodies into strenuous activities like intense exercises. That is OK, so long as they don’t have any underlying heart conditions.

After calling 911, have someone get the nearest AED device. Take out their top clothing and dry up their chest. Place the pads and turn on the AED.

When at Work

Lastly, having an AED in your workplace is crucial. Regardless of the nature of your industry, stress levels tend to go very high at times.

Like at home, make sure everybody knows where the AED is. Keep it in a place that is easy to reach. Moreover, train every employee on how to use AED.

Invest in an AED, today!

Answering the question of when do you use an AED is simply part of the battle. You need to learn how to use it in case the situation calls for it.

If you don’t have an AED at home or in the office, you better consider investing in one. Get in touch with us today and let us guide you in all of your AED-related concerns.

We also offer other types of medical equipment that aim to help save lives.