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CPR – Special Considerations when using an AED

1:) Hairy Chest: If the victim has a hairy chest you will need to remove the hair prior to placing the AED pads on the victims chest. You may do this with a razor that is typically found with an AED or by attaching one set of AED pads and pulling them off forcibly removing the hair. You should ensure you have another set of AED pads prior to using one set to remove hair or you may not be able to use the AED. Leaving hair in place may cause the AED pads not make contact with the patients chest and cause the shock to be ineffective.

2:) Medication Patches: If the victim has a medication patch on their skin in the area the AED pads are to be placed you must remove them prior to attaching the AED pads. Use gloved hands to remove the medication patch. Medications patches may divert the shock or represent a burn hazard if not removed.

3:) Covered in water: If the victim is covered in water or sweat attempt to dry the chest prior to applying the AED pads. Moisture may divert the shock from the heart.

4:) Implanted Pacemakers or Defibrillators: If the victim has an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator continue to use an AED as otherwise indicated for other patients. Ensure the AED pads are at least an inch away from the victims device prior to delivering a shock. You continue to use an AED as it is unknown if the implanted device is functioning correctly. An implanted pacemaker or defibrillator will look like a small lump underneath the skin usually on the upper left side of the chest near the heart.

5:) Pediatric Patients: An AED may be used for any victim over the age of 1. Pediatric pads deliver a smaller shock and should be used if available. If pediatric pads are not available, use the adult pads as long as they do not overlap or touch. Many AED’s will not have pediatric pads.

6: ) Fully Automated AEDS: Fully automated AED’s are devices they do not require a rescuer to push a button to deliver a shock to a victim once applied. It is imperative to always listen to an AED and follow the instructions given. If using a fully automated AED it may deliver a shock at anytime and pose injury or death to you or other rescuers if touching the victim when a shock is delivered.

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