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    How to Operate an Automated External Defibrillator

    Call 911 if:

    • The person may be having sudden cardiac arrest.

    1. Check Responsiveness

    • For an adult or older child, shout and shake the person to confirm consciousness. Do not use AED on a conscious person.
    • For an infant or young child, pinch skin. Never shake a young child.
    • Check breathing and pulse. If absent or irregular, prepare to use AED as soon as possible.

    2. Prepare to Use AED

    • Make sure the person is in a dry area and away from puddles or water.
    • Check for body piercings or outline of an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
    • AED pads must be placed at least 1 inch away from piercings or implanted devices.

    3. Use AED

    For newborns, infants, and children up to age 8, use a pediatric AED, if possible. If not, use an adult AED.

    • Turn on the AED.
    • Wipe chest dry.
    • Attach pads.
    • Plug in connector, if necessary.
    • Make sure no one is touching the person.
    • Push “Analyze” button.
    • If a shock is advised, check again to make sure no one is touching the person.
    • Push “Shock” button.
    • Start or resume chest compressions.
    • For an adult, see The Importance of CPR for information about giving CPR.
    • For a child, see CPR for Children.
    • Follow AED prompts.

    4. Continue CPR After Using AED

    • After 2 minutes of CPR, check the person’s heart rhythm. If it’s still absent or irregular, give another shock.
    • If a shock isn’t needed, continue CPR until emergency help arrives or the person begins to move.
    • Stay with the person until help arrives.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on January 16, 2016

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