How to use an AED to help save a life

CPR or the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) is critical for a person who experiences sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital to survive. The survival rate for individuals who experience a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital is a mere five percent.

Time is crucial. Chances of survival drop by 10 percent for every minute that passes without someone performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Lauren Peralez, on staff at Baylor SportsCare, demonstrates how to use an AED in this video.

The Heart Rhythm Society advises the following actions in response to a potential sudden cardiac arrest emergency:

1.  Know the signs of sudden cardiac arrest in order to react quickly.

Sudden cardiac arrest strikes immediately and without warning. Victims will fall to the ground/collapse, become unresponsive, and will not breathe normally, if at all.

2.  Call 911 as soon as possible.

3.  Start CPR as quickly as possible.

Bystanders should provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast (approximately 100 beats per minute) in the middle of the victim’s chest, with minimal interruptions.

4.  Use an AED if one is available on site.

AEDs are increasingly available in public locations, such as office buildings, airports, gyms and libraries.  These machines give verbal instruction, and once pads are attached to the chest, the AED does the rest of the work. Follow the three simple steps below to assist somone in the case of a sudden cardiac arrest.


About the author

Susan Hall
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Susan joined Baylor many years ago when Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas was the only Baylor facility in the area. When not at work, she’s outside – Big Bend National Park is her favorite with Glacier National Park a close second.

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How to use an AED to help save a life