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heart rhythm
unfortunate fact
cardiac arrest
important point
heart attack
couple of minutes
waste of time
Why Do CPR And AED Certification Go Together
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Why should you obtain your CPR and AED certification? You may think it will be a waste of time as automated external defibrillators tell you what to do anyway don't they? You may have read in the papers that there been cases of people saving lives using an AED device who never had any training. Was that not true? Yes there have been but it is very important that you learn not only how to use these devices as that is fairly simple but when they should be used.

Learning how to use an AED properly won't take very long at all. You will master the skills in a couple of minutes. The most important point is where you attach the pads, the fact they go on bare skin and that it is very important nobody is touching the patient when the machine is doing its reading. Another person's heart rhythm could be picked up which will obviously confuse the outcome. You will also be taught that although using this type of device increases the chance of survival in most cases, in some cases their use is not appropriate. The obvious would be where someone has had a heart attack and not a cardiac arrest. The less obvious would be in the case of infants under a year old.

An AED only works if there is an existing heart rhythm. That is why you also need to learn how to do CPR. In some cases the device, having assessed the casualty, will tell you to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation for two minutes. After this time has elapsed the device will rescan the patient and hopefully pick up a rhythm that it can shock.

You will also learn that even if the victim appears to recover i.e. they regain consciousness you should never remove the defibrillator pads. Leave that decision to the EMS. If someone has a cardiac arrest and is shocked into recovery, they are statistically very likely to have another arrest and may need to be shocked again.

Finally the main reason why you need both CPR and AED certification is the unfortunate fact that there simply aren't sufficient AED devices available in public places. Despite the efforts of the American Heart Association and the Red Cross and the evidence of the difference this type of equipment makes in the chain of survival, most towns and cities have yet to implement all the recommendations. This was cruelly evidenced in a recent case where two men attending separate hockey games had a cardiac arrest on the same evening. The older man survived but the younger man in his early thirties with a family died. Obviously nobody knows why one survived and the other died but the fact that an AED was available and used on the older man may account for his survival. The hockey club where the younger man had his arrest didn't have an automated external defibrillator on the premises. So you still need to know how to revive someone using the traditional CPR methods.

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