Monthly Archives: April 2015

When to Use a Manual or Automatic External Defibrillator

A medic rubs two rectangular pads together, creating a static charge as he kneels next to a patient. Even over the sound of wailing sirens, you can hear him yell, “Clear!” as he pounds the automatic defibrillator pads to the patient’s chest.

The patient gasps—he’s alive!—and the credits roll…

As you know, what you see on TV isn’t always true. You’ve probably seen a manual or automatic external defibrillator before—maybe even in real life.

But when lives are on the line, such as when you need to use these devices, you must depend on fact rather than fiction.

What is the difference between a manual and an automatic external defibrillator? When is the right time to use one?

We at SimpleCPR will instruct you on the best time to use a manual or automatic external defibrillator.

Automatic External Defibrillator

While TV may give you some idea of how an automatic defibrillator works, TV doesn’t accurately tell you how—or when—to use one. In reality, you have to be prepared at any moment to jump into action—not only when the cameras are rolling.

  • You can find AED units in most public buildings.
  • You can pay an automatic defibrillator cost at an AED store to get a portable external defibrillator.

You can usually find a building’s AED by locating the automated external defibrillator sign. However, knowing how to use one is only half the work—you must also know how to recognize signs of cardiac arrest. So before you worry about knowing how to use one, you must know when. And you can only get that with classes.

Adult CPR classes can teach you how to identify when someone is suffering from cardiac arrest. Identifying when someone needs help is the single most important aspect of using an automatic external defibrillator. Once you have that knowledge, you’ll be ready to choose from AED prices to find one that fits your training.

Manual External Defibrillator

When should you use manual over automatic?

A manual external defibrillator differs from an automatic external defibrillator definition in the way you apply voltage. While an AED measures and applies the amount of voltage to use, a manual defibrillator does not. A manual device measures the voltage required, but you must apply it yourself.

As with an AED, you need more than familiarity with a manual device. You need CPR training to know just what to do.

You can mostly find manual defibrillators in ambulances and hospitals. If you’re properly trained or are working on-site as a medical professional, you’ll have all the tools you need to make a difference.

Take CPR Classes and Take the First Step to Saving Lives

Watching medical dramas can only get you so far. If you really find yourself in a position to help during an emergency, do you really want to risk not knowing what to do? A manual or automatic external defibrillator can help you stabilize an emergency—but only if you have prepared in advance.

Both require you to take CPR classes online. With these classes, and you’ll have all the knowledge (and confidence) to act when it counts.

So before you jump on over to your local AED superstore to find your preferred AED brand, make sure you’re ready. Take the classes, get your certification, and get to saving lives!

First Aid for Choking – The Basics

Choking is a common emergency that can happen to anyone, and it can have fatal consequences if not handled properly. Adults often choke on food, while young children and even infants have a high risk of choking on small objects. Although the feeling of choking is a scary ordeal, the good news is that first aid for choking is easy to remember and simple to perform.

There are several signs of choking:

  • Hands grasping at the throat is the international sign that a person is choking
  • The victim will be unable to speak
  • They will have difficulty breathing or not be able to breathe at all
  • The lips, nails, or skin will be turning slightly blue

If a person is obviously choking and is showing any of these signs, perform choking first aid immediately.

*Please note: if a person is coughing or has the ability to talk, they are NOT choking. Never perform abdominal thrusts on a person who is not choking.

To use choking first aid on an adult, use the recommended “find-and-five” approach by alternating between five back blows and five abdominal thrusts.

A back blow is a firm, yet swift strike on the victim’s back between their shoulder blades. Back blows should be performed with the heel of one hand while your other hand is being used for balance – either to steady the victim or yourself. After five quick back blows, take only a few seconds to see if the item has dislodged.

If the back blows did not dislodge the item the person is choking on, quickly move to the next step in choking first aid by performing five abdominal thrusts. Another term commonly used for this motion is the Heimlich maneuver: standing behind the victim, wrap your arms around their abdomen and make a fist with one hand. Place your fist on, or right above, the victim’s navel and cover that fist with your other hand. Quickly thrust both hands toward yourself in a slight upward motion as if attempting to lift the victim. These thrusts should dislodge the item from the victim’s airway.

After performing the five back blows and five abdominal thrusts, take just a few seconds to see if the obstruction has been dislodged. If it has, the item would have been expelled and the victim would be coughing or breathing. If it has not, then continue to alternate between the back blows and abdominal thrusts of choking first aid until the victim loses consciousness, at which point you should immediately call 911 and begin CPR.

Interested in knowing more? Visit SimpleCPR to learn more about first aid for choking and other common first aid procedures.