Online ACLS Course

Chapter 7 : Early defibrillation and using an AED

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, defibrillation might be the only treatment to restore normal heart activity. This is the case when the rhythm is irregular, as with Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) and pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia (VT), which are discussed in the next chapter.

Video Demonstration

Early defibrillation and using an AED

BLS survey is used for all cardiac arrest patients:

STEPSASSESSMENTTECHNIQUE/ACTION
1Check for response
  • Tap and ask, “Are you all right?”
  • Look for breathing by checking for movement of chest (5 to 10 seconds)
2Activate the emergency response system and get AED
  • Activate the emergency response system (Call 911) and ask someone to get the AED if help is available
3Circulation
  • Check carotid pulse (maximum of 10 seconds)
  • If no pulse start CPR with 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths
  •  START WITH COMPRESSIONS FIRST!
  • 100 compressions per minute
  • Depth of 2 inches
  • If there is a pulse, start rescue breathing at 1 breath every 5 to 6 seconds
4Defibrillation
  • Check for shockable rhythm  with AED
  • Hook up the pads to the patients bare chest
  • Give shock when needed – follow instructions on the AED
  • After shock start CPR again beginning with chest compressions