Yes, the machine itself gives clear instructions and all you have to do is follow them. You don’t have to have special training and you won’t be able to shock anyone’s heart unless it needs it. Below is the statement from the UK Resuscitation Council.
“Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are designed to be used by members of the public, and are very effective at guiding the operator through the process of administering the shock. They have become widely available, are safe and easy to use, and will not allow a shock to be given to a victim who does not require one.”
Training is useful to give hands on experience when using a AED and the one day (EFAW) and three day (FAW) First Aid courses now include Defibrillator training.
How to use a Defibrillator.
The first thing you must do is make sure an ambulance has been called and if an AED isn’t immediately available, give CPR until someone brings the AED.
When you get the AED, switch it on. It will immediately start to give you a series of instructions telling you of what you need to do. Follow these prompts until the paramedic takes over.
Take the pads out of the sealed pack. Remove or cut through any clothing and wipe away any sweat from the chest.
Remove the plastic covers and attach the sticky pads to their chest. The pads are like big plasters with covers you peel off and a sticky part you place on the chest.
Place the first pad on their upper right side, just below their collarbone as shown on the pad.
Then place the second pad on their left side, just below the armpit. Make sure you position the pad lengthways.
Once you’ve done this, the AED will start checking the hearts electrical signal. Make sure that no-one is touching the casualty. Continue to follow the voice and/or visual prompts that the machine gives you until help arrives.
The UK Resuscitation Council and British Heart Foundation have produced a guide to defibrillators click here if you would like a free copy, or if you have any questions about AED’s then you can email me on email@example.com
The law states you have to have suitable and sufficient first aid provision (i.e. facilities, first aid kits and trained first aiders) but you are the best qualified person to decide what that is. However, if there is an accident or someone is taken ill and they suffer harm because of a lack of first aid provision on your part, you will be left in a difficult position.
To avoid this, you need to carry out a first aid needs assessment. Essentially this is just looking at your organisation and deciding a sensible level of cover. The HSE recommends thinking about the following factors.
To help you further the HSE have produced a really useful guidance document of case studies looking at different types of organisation and suggesting an appropriate amount of training and equipment. If you would like a free copy of this document click here or if you have any questions on your level of first aid cover you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org