Do you know what to do if a loved one has cardiac arrest? Have you thought about learning life-saving skills but need help? Many people need help finding the answers to the above questions. But, life-saving techniques are self-explanatory. Start with the introductory first aid course and work up to CPR and even a BLS certification. By learning introductory courses, your knowledge of the human body increases. CPR and AED certified individuals work flawlessly to revive a patient suffering from a cardiac arrest. This article discusses the use and importance of AED. You will also learn the basic difference between CPR and AED in this article.
What is the use of an AED?
Doctors started using an electrical shock to restart a heart in the early 1900s. Since then, AEDs have become increasingly sophisticated. Many versions of this machine have come and gone. They now have value in a variety of settings to help save lives. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that provides prompt, potentially life-saving treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It can analyze a person’s heart rhythm. If the heart has an irregular rhythm, an AED can give a shock to restore it. This shock is defibrillation. All machines come with detailed instructions. Many also have audio and visual cues to help operate them better. The AED also has several safety features. You can automatically shut it when the shock reaches the heart. In addition to defibrillation, AEDs also fulfill the below purpose.
- An AED can monitor a person’s heart rhythm and detect any abnormalities. The irregularities could start at any age, so awareness is essential.
- It can detect a heart attack and alert medical professionals. People suffering from irregular heart rates often need help in the timely administration of medication.
- AEDs are also commonly used in sports settings. They sit on the sidelines of a football game or track and field event. An AED can quickly diagnose and treat cardiac arrest and other heart issues in these settings.
- AED finds a place in airports, shopping malls, and schools. Having an AED in these locations can help provide immediate care in a cardiac emergency.
- Many training programs, such as CPR certification courses, also teach AED. Students can practice using the device and learn how to respond in a cardiac emergency by having an AED on hand.
How are AED and CPR different?
You may have heard people use CPR and AED in the same breath. It may make you think that it is the same thing. But these two techniques are very different from each other. Peter Safar and James Elam discovered CPR in the late 1960s. They developed a method to help restore the circulation of all vital organs. Blood to the brain is essential to prevent decay. CPR works if the person’s heart stops beating but is still alive. The first portable AED (automated external defibrillator) came to life in the early 1970s. Frank Pantridge and John Geddes were their founders. Initially, only ambulances had an AED. But it later became available in public places. As given below, CPR and AED-certified professionals know the difference between these techniques.
- AED is a battery-operated device that restarts a person’s heart in an emergency. It measures electrical activity in the heart. It can deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat. CPR is a life-saving technique to restart blood flow to the heart and lungs. It involves chest compressions and rescue breathing to help the person’s heart to beat again.
- AED treats sudden cardiac arrest when the heart stops beating due to an electrical problem. CPR works if the patient suffers a cardiac arrest but if they have some brain activity left. People could show signs of death like agonal breathing as well.
- AED uses buttons to work and is relatively easy to use. CPR requires manual chest compressions. It may require rescue breathing, depending on the situation. CPR could also need more than one person, while AED does not.
- CPR is the first technique you must use on a person with a cardiac arrest. If the person does not revive with CPR, AED is a must.
Does early defibrillation mean a higher survival rate?
Time is critical in treating cardiac arrest because the heart’s neural system becomes more unstable each minute. If left untreated, a person can die within minutes. Early use of an AED can reduce this time and increase the chances of survival. An automated external defibrillator (AED) can dramatically improve a patient’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. It is a medical device that delivers an electric shock to the heart. It brings the heart to its normal heartbeat. When used quickly and correctly, an AED can restore blood circulation. The earlier you use an AED, the higher the likelihood of successful resuscitation.
Additionally, AEDs are for use by non-medical personnel. It can arrive quickly, even in remote or rural areas where medical professionals have difficulty reaching. It helps reduce the time between the onset of cardiac arrest and the delivery of defibrillation. It also helps the patients from avoiding brain death. The survival rate is higher when bystanders use AED. CPR and AED certified people understand the value of timely administration of these techniques. As a bystander, you should seek help from others to deliver the nearest AED. You may lose the patient if you wait for the emergency response team to arrive.
CPR is the first skill in most cardiac-related emergencies. CPR helps in continuing blood circulation in the body. AED ensures the heart gets a second chance at life, for people who ask if CPR is better than AED. However, if a person is in cardiac arrest and CPR does not work, an AED is the better choice. In general, both CPR and AED are essential skills to have and can help save lives. A CPR and AED certified person takes both courses. The American HealthCare Academy has individual and combination courses for people willing to upskill. Log onto the AHCA website to look at the course details today.