What is a AED Singapore?
An automated external
defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that
automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and
ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of
electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective
With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be
simple to use for the layman, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, first responder, and basic life
support (BLS) level CPR classes.
An AED is external because the
operator applies the electrode pads to the bare chest of the victim, as opposed to internal defibrillators,
which have electrodes surgically implanted inside the body of a patient.
Automatic refers to the unit's ability to
autonomously analyse the patient's condition, and to assist this, the vast majority of units have spoken
prompts, and some may also have visual displays to instruct the user.
When turned on or opened, the AED will instruct the user to
connect the electrodes (pads) to the patient. Once the pads are attached, everyone should avoid touching the
patient so as to avoid false readings by the unit. The pads allow the AED to examine the electrical output from the
heart and determine if the patient is in a shockable rhythm (either ventricular fibrillation or ventricular
tachycardia). If the device determines that a shock is warranted, it will use the battery to charge its internal
capacitor in preparation to deliver the shock. This system is not only safer (charging only when required), but
also allows for a faster delivery of the electrical current.
When charged, the device instructs the user to ensure no one is
touching the patient and then to press a button to deliver the shock; human intervention is usually required to
deliver the shock to the patient in order to avoid the possibility of accidental injury to another person (which
can result from a responder or bystander touching the patient at the time of the shock). Depending on the
manufacturer and particular model, after the shock is delivered most devices will analyze the patient and either
instruct CPR to be given, or administer another shock.
Many AED units have an 'event memory' which store the ECG of
the patient along with details of the time the unit was activated and the number and strength of any shocks
delivered. Some units also have voice recording abilities to monitor the actions taken by the personnel in order to
ascertain if these had any impact on the survival outcome. All this recorded data can be either downloaded to a
computer or printed out so that the providing organisation or responsible body is able to see the effectiveness of
both CPR and defibrillation. Some AED units even provide feedback on the quality of the compressions provided by
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