AED Training Boston
The abbreviation AED stands for “automated external defibrillator,” meant to be used in the event of a cardiac arrest. AED training is conducted hand-in-hand with CPR training. An AED is a small, portable electronic device that determines the rhythm and rate of a person’s heartbeat. It is further able to deliver an electric shock to a person’s heart with the intention of restoring to normal a life-threatening irregular heartbeat. The device contains a battery which allows it to function while not being plugged into electricity. Most AEDs also deliver verbal commands to the rescuer, indicating the steps to take in its use. AEDs are frequently found now in large public gathering places such as restaurants, malls, public office buildings, medical offices and even on airplanes.
A human being’s heart is considered a mechanical pump
but is kept in measured rhythm by electrical activity. This regular rhythm may be disturbed for many reasons, such as sickness, trauma, neurological conditions and most especially by heart disease. Other factors may also contribute to cardiac irregularity such as diabetes, obesity, and smoking. If the regular rhythm of the heart is disturbed too drastically, blood is no longer pumped effectively throughout the brain, lungs and body, ultimately resulting in death.
Two arrhythmias (irregular heart beats) are
particularly dangerous: ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. In the first case, the heart beats too fast to be effective in moving blood throughout the body. In the second case, the beat itself is so irregular that the heart cannot function properly as a pump. If left untreated, both cases can lead to cardiac arrest. Thereafter, brain death will follow in 4 to 6 minutes. The AED interprets many different types of cardiac rhythms and determines if an electrical shock may allow the heart to “reset” itself and drop back into a normal beat. It must only be used on a victim in cardiac arrest, which is to say with no pulse and not breathing. The victim must be moved to a flat dry surface, such as the floor or ground.