In short, if you are wondering whether a random bystander who is witnessing a person with heart attack symptoms, possibly having collapsed and unconscious, the answer is a resounding yes. This is even more true when a bystander has access to an AED machine, or an automatic cardiac defibrillator. When a lay person is at least aware of the four simple steps to help the person who is experiencing a heart desfibrilador automatico, or cardiac arrest, the chances of victim’s survival are multiplied, as every single minute counts, and it always takes many minutes before the professional help arrives.
The four basic steps including the use of AED defibrillator are quite simple and three out of four will be doable by a lay person who has never used a defibrillator before. Read on…
Step 1 – Call 911 to send emergency medical services to your location
This is always the first step, and often the most important and easily forgotten. Especially in settings where many people are witnessing a situation, it is wrong to think “why call 911 – someone else probably called already”. Instead, direct someone to call 911 instantly as you move on to the step 2.
Step 2 – Execute CPR, cardio pulmonary resuscitation
American Heart Association recommends simply doing the hands-only CPR, by pressing on victim’s chest lowering it by about two inches. For the sake of simplicity, they forgo the mouth-to-mouth CPR as being too complicated. You will be able to pump blood and the necessary oxygen into brain by doing hands-only CPR with strong, decisive pushes down on the center of the chest.
Step 3 – Use AED, cardiac defibrillator, if conditions warrant
While the primary intent should be to perform CPR until help arrives, using an AED device can double the chances of heart attack victim’s survival. The conditions for a successful use of a heart defibrillator are either that the heart is racing fast (and being ineffective at pumping blood into brain), or that the heart is “fibrillating”, or quickly quivering, again being ineffective in sending blood and oxygen into brain. AED is ineffective when the heart is at a standstill.
If you are not sure whether the conditions are right, go ahead and still use the AED equipment for a short period of time. The preventative measures are built into the cardiac defibrillator machine, so other than losing a minute or two, you can cause no harm. Be sure to continue the CPR regardless. Once you turn on the automated external defibrillator, you will receive textual and audible instructions on what exactly to do with the AED machine. Follow the directions, place the electrodes on person’s chest, wait a minute for the diagnosis, and wait for the electric shock if indicated. Then go back to CPR.
Step 4 – Advanced life support measures
There is nothing you can do here; EMS service will take over from here and offer advanced life support to the heart attack victim.