Students that attend CPR courses training courtesy of First Aid Winnipeg will receiving the skills needed to properly operate an AED. Early use of an AED greatly increases the chance of survival of those that suffered from cardiac arrest. Over 80% of sudden cardiac deaths the victim’s heart rhythm was “shock able” (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation) which basically means that AED would have helped. However if the victim’s heart has no electrical activity (asystole or flatline) then the use of AED would not have helped. In regards to ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia relies on the amount of time that has passed before the commencement of defibrillation. Every minute that a person needs to wait for defibrillation the chance of survival drops 7-10%. If you apply AED to a person there are four possible outcomes: an organized rhythm with a pulse, an organized rhythm without a pulse, no change in rhythm or no electrical activity (asystole or flatline). When you start to use an AED, (before calling EMS, checking the scene etc) then conduct a water test. If the water splashes when you jump in it then the water is too deep and you need to move the victim. Certain AED’s have a voice recorder option and if they do, you should say who you are, who is assisting you, the victim’s age, gender and name, the location and events leading to the cardiac arrest. Then you need to follow the voice prompts. Ensure that the person’s chest is dry (dry it if necessary). If the victim has nitroglycerin, nicotine or hormone patch in the intended shock area then remove said patch in order to minimize burns. Be sure to be sporting proper protective gloves in such a situation in order to reduce contact with their medication. You then need to remove any clothing or body jewellery that are in near proximity of the intended pads. For additional information regarding AED’s please contact First Aid Regina to attend one of our CPR training courses.