How to operate an AED machine in 60 seconds

Last Modified: 5/05/2022

Would you know what to do if someone went into cardiac arrest? About 60% of cardiac arrests are witnessed by a bystander. Of those cases, roughly 80% can be brought back to life through the use of an external defibrillator. Scott Yoder, flight paramedic, flight services, Parkview Health, shares the proper way to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) machine to assist a person in distress.


What to do when a person is down:

1. Shake them and see if they are alert or responsive.

2. If they are not responsive, have someone call 911 and someone else grab the AED machine.

3. Begin performing CPR (review guidelines here) while waiting for the AED to arrive.

4. Remove or open the person’s shirt to expose their chest. If necessary, run the razor over the chest area to remove hair.

5. When the AED arrives, apply the pads to the person’s chest and continue CPR. Do not interrupt CPR until the AED voice prompts you to stop. There will be roughly a 2-minute analysis cycle. 

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