Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Top 10 AED Myths

June 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 204

There are many automatic external defibrillators (AED) available in medical related as well as public places. Most of the public know what an AED is - but have never had their hands on one or been trained on how to use one. And, because of this, many myths regarding AED use has developed. So, here is a list of the myths that Michele and I hear the most often from our healthcare students as well as the general public.

1. Myth: AEDs are difficult to use.

No. After you have called the emergency response team (Code Blue or 911) and you have begun CPR on a victim who appears pulseless and breathless, ask a bystander to get the AED. When an AED is available, simply turn it on and follow the AEDs directions. The AEDs are easy to use and are highly accurate in determining if a shock is needed. The only time the victim needs the AED pads on their chest is if the AED tell you that a shock is needed. The AED talks and guides you through the correct and safe use of the pads. "Apply pads to patient's bare chest and plug in the connector". It is easier if one person can do the chest compressions while the other applies the AED pads. Anyone who has taken a CPR class learns about the AED and how to use it. Nothing difficult about it.

2. Myth: If I put the pads on wrong I will get sued.

No. The AED pads have pictures on the pads that explain where to apply the pads. If the pads aren't on properly the AED will ask you to correct their placement. We don't know of any lawsuits that have been brought against lay rescuers who attempt to provide CPR and use an AED. Generally speaking, our legal system provides nationwide Good Samaritan protection, exempting anyone who renders emergency treatment with a defibrillator in an effort to save someone's life. Laws suits are usually focused around health clubs or similar institutions that have certified CPR employees that did not have or use an AED at the time of a cardiac arrest.

3. Myth: It is too late to deliver a shock after 2 minutes of CPR.

No, it is not too late. A rescuer must deliver, and continue to deliver, high quality CPR. When the AED does arrive and the pads are applied to the victim, the AED will determine if the victim is still in a shockable rhythm, and it will ask you to press the shock button. There is still a chance of survival.

4. Myth: AED's pads are not interchangeable for different age groups.

Wrong. The AED pads are made for the specific age groups - one size for adults, and another for children, and still another for infants. But, of course, the most common age group for AED usage is the older adult. Adult pads can be used on the child 1-8 years old, if the correct size is not available. Child pads can be used on infants. Infant/child combo pads are available for use as well. Do not use smaller pads on adults, because it will not provide enough joules (electrical power). In this case, continue applying chest compressions - high-quality CPR.

5. Myth: The chest must be dry in order for the AED pads to work.

Wrong. Obviously the chest should be as dry as possible for the strongest and safest delivery of a shock. If possible, quickly dry off the chest, but do not delay defibrillation if the AED suggests a shock is required.

6. Myth: Do not use the AED if the victim has a pacemaker/defibrillator or is in contact with a metal surface.

Wrong. If there is an apparent device under the skin where the pads would be placed, simply place the pads in another spot at least 2 inches away from the device. If you think the victim is being shocked by their own internal defibrillator, stand clear. Be prepared to start CPR and apply the AED pads as well. Call 911 as soon as possible. It has been proven that moving patients off of metal surfaces is unnecessary because there is very little risk to the CPR provider.

7. Myth: AEDs malfunction and don't give enough joules.

Wrong. The number of AED malfunctions is very small compared to the number of the times AEDs are used without a problem. The American Heart Association (AHA) notes that at least 15,000 - 20,000 annually lives are at risk from a heart attack and could possibly be saved with the quick and proper use of and AED.

8. Myth: Home AEDs do not save lives.

Approximately 80% of the deaths occur in the home, so it makes sense to have an AED in the home. However, family members often do not remember where the AED is located within their own home or within in their parent's home. Family members are also afraid to use it once the find the AED. They typically fear that they will use it incorrectly and harm their loved one. If the AED is used quickly and correctly, it can save a life. We must remember that AEDs are very often used successfully in major public locations like shopping malls, airports, and casinos.

9. Myth: I need to be a healthcare professional to use the AED.

Wrong. Certainly, if you are a health professional and use emergency equipment every day you would probably be comfortable using an AED - and applying the pads and actually shocking someone. But the AED is so simple and straight forward to use that anyone in the general public can use is successfully - even without taking a CPR certification class.

10. Myth: There are no resources for the lifesaver in the community.

Wrong. There are plenty of life-saver and CPR classes in schools, libraries, community centers, and hospitals throughout America. There are also plenty of very good free videos on YouTube. The American Heart Association (AHA) sells a video with an inexpensive blow-up manikin to help a family practice their CPR skills. There are also applications for smart-phones that can help you call 911, as well as guide you through the steps of CPR.

Joseph is currently certified by American Heart Association as being proficient in BLS and CPR, since 1988. He will become an AHA Certified BLS and CPR instructor in July 2012.

About the Author: Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. is an author, self-publisher, educator, infopreneur, small-business manager and marketing expert, husband and father of twins. Life-long love affair with books and reading. Very excited about being part of the new media movement. Known for casual, easy-to-read writing style and ability to explain complex topics in an understandable way. Kunz likes to share all that he has learned about self-publishing and small-business management at "If you are serious about your work you should self-publish. Retain creative control. Retain the profits. Enjoy the satisfaction and status that comes with being published." Visit Kunz's website about all aspects of self-publishing at, for an insider's guide to becoming a financially successful and happy self-publisher, and sign-up for his free newsletter.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:



Automatic External Defibrillator




Life Saver


Heart Attack


American Heart Association

For gaining entrance in coveted fields in a reputed University, the entrance examinations are the gateway. The purpose of these entrance examinations is to test the potential of a candidate and how

By: Sarkariexam l Reference & Education > Science l December 23, 2012 lViews: 519

Competition is increasing at an alarming level in every sphere. The students have to focus completely on their studies to ensure that they get admission in the line of their choice. What more, the

By: Sarkariexam l Reference & Education > Continuing Education l December 14, 2012 lViews: 1443

'How hard is a PhD'? Many PhD holders have been asked this question millions of times, but there is never any definite answer. We look at those who walk around proudly with a 'Doctor' title with

By: onlineedublog l Reference & Education > Continuing Education l November 11, 2012 lViews: 284

In this fast paced world which is sadly recession struck, it is indeed a good idea to work while acquiring further education. A master’s degree is obviously better than a bachelor’s in almost

By: onlineedublog l Reference & Education > Online Education l November 04, 2012 lViews: 262

An Online Degree Program in Finance is gaining popularity as it helps students to develop a lucrative career. It helps in a competitive business world. This has resulted in more number of students

By: Matthew l Reference & Education > Online Education l October 31, 2012 lViews: 287

Supporting justice is one of the reasons many people get into a career in the legal field. All-inclusive Online Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies assists many in the beginning stage of employment

By: Richard l Reference & Education > Online Education l October 26, 2012 lViews: 222

Personal protection can be accomplished in different ways. The use of a self defense device is one of them. If you are thinking about purchasing a self defense device which can help protect you, you

By: Cori Bakerl Reference & Education > Survival and Emergencyl June 12, 2012 lViews: 198

A Survival Knife is one of the most important survival tools that you can take with you during an emergency situation. A survival knife is created specifically for surviving in a backwoods

By: Clint Engelagel Reference & Education > Survival and Emergencyl June 11, 2012 lViews: 209

Disaster can strike at any moment, so purchasing or building a disaster survival kit is always considered a good and practical investment. A disaster survival kit is one type of survival gear which

By: Jazmine A Cunninghaml Reference & Education > Survival and Emergencyl June 10, 2012 lViews: 164

Hiking makes for a great pastime because of different reasons: enjoyment, physical fitness and de-stressing. But while hiking surely has perks and benefits, it can also result in accidents and other

By: Jazmine A Cunninghaml Reference & Education > Survival and Emergencyl June 10, 2012 lViews: 185

Modern technology has paved the way for the creation of self defense weapons such as the tasers and stun guns. Though they provide a lot of benefits, there are also some disadvantages in using them

By: Cori Bakerl Reference & Education > Survival and Emergencyl June 07, 2012 lViews: 335

Darn that Mayan Calendar anyway! Why doesn't someone just go grab that old stone and add another 30,000 years to it? Surely we have the technology to fuse some more rocks together with a high powered

By: Lance Winslowl Reference & Education > Survival and Emergencyl April 19, 2012 lViews: 178

The Path of the Law presents the conclusions drawn by Holmes after more than 30 years of legal observation, thought, and practice of law. He probably wrote this essay to further discuss what he began

By: Joseph C Kunz, Jrl Book Reviews > Law Legall February 23, 2012 lViews: 198

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus