How Should Semi - Automatic Defibrillators Be Used On Kids?
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How Should Semi  -  automatic Defibrillators Be Used on Kids?

Semi-automatic defibrillators can save lives provided that you understand how they work. Using a defibrillator on a child as you’d do with an adult can possibly kill him or her, so the right settings and pads are required.

There are a number of new semi-automated defibrillators being installed in numerous public places around the world. That being said these devices are of little use to the general public who knows very little about how and when to use them. Also, bearing in mind the fact that using these incorrectly can end up actually causing more harm than good.

Ventricular fibrillation in kids

In the past it was considered that kids hardly ever encountered ventricular fibrillation and so it was thought to be more common with adults as opposed to kids. However, the latest research points out that kids are at a higher risk than adults. The majority of kids who suffer from congenital heart issues are ones who will most likely suffer from ventricular fibrillation. Commotio cordis is a condition where a heavy blow to the kid’s chest at a certain time can disrupt their cardio rhythm cycle eventually leading to ventricular fibrillation.

Issues with using Automatic and Semi-automatic defibrillators on kids

The biggest problem when it comes to using semi-automatic defibrillators on kids is that their hearts are a lot smaller in size and the muscle tissue is a lot weaker. The shock delivered can and will damage the muscular tissue of the heart which may do more harm than good. Generally speaking a child needs to be above ten years of age before regular automatic or semi-automatic defibrillators can be used. On younger children the defibrillators will have to be overridden and the shock’s intensity lowered. Some manufacturers ship their units with special pediatric cables for kids which dampens the shock delivered making it safe.

Infants i.e. under a year old shouldn’t be subjected to defibrillation. The only and best way to get the circulation going and oxygen into the blood is through CPR.

Using a semi-automatic defibrillator on children under ten years of age

After you have called emergency services prepare and use the device in the following way:

• Check if the child is currently breathing, check to see if his or her chest is deflating and inflating. If it’s not then put your ear to their nose to check. If the child is breathing then using a defibrillator is not important. If you see that he is not breathing then start by giving two rescue breaths along with 30 chest compressions.

• Pick up a defibrillator and start to prepare it while another person can take over chest compressions.

• Attach pediatric adhesive pads to the unit. There should be a diagram on the unit that shows you the right placement of the pads. If there is no diagram then place the negative pad on the upper chest region close to the neck, and the positive pad to the left of the victim’s chest right underneath the pectoral muscle.

• Turn on the semi automatic defibrillator and switch it to manual override or go into settings and set it to the lowest intensity or the ‘child settings’.

• Once the pads are attached the person performing CPR should stand back and you should press the analyze button. This is located on front of the defibrillator. After the onboard computer monitors the heart it will show a shock message. Press the button to deliver a shock.

• Deliver around five cycles of CPR immediately after the shock. Then analyze again prior to a second shock.

DefibTech has been manufacturing and selling some of the best, most durable and efficient defibrillators in Australia. Our units are backed by a solid guarantee and are easy to use by almost anyone.


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