How Do You Use a Defibrillator?


Quick Answer

To use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, turn on the device, place the pads on the patient's chest, press the "analyze" button, then press the button to deliver the shock if the AED advises one. Ensure that nobody is in contact with the patient while the AED analyzes the patient and delivers the shock, advises the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Full Answer

The first step upon finding someone with an absent or irregular pulse is to call 911, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. If you find someone unconscious without knowing how long he has been without a pulse or without having an AED immediately available, administer two minutes of CPR before using the device. After using the AED, if the pulse has not returned to normal, administer two more minutes of CPR before reanalyzing the patient with the AED.

If the unconscious individual is in a puddle of water, move him to a dry space before using the AED, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. To ensure the AED has a good connection, you may have to shave or trim the patient's chest hair before applying the pads and remove any medicine patches in the way of the connection, wiping away any medicine remaining on the skin. Also remove metal necklaces and underwire bras to prevent burns to the skin, and place the pads at least an inch away from any implanted devices or piercings.

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