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What should be kept with an AED? (Defib prep kit)

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a potentially lifesaving piece of equipment, however it is important that AEDs are stored with the correct equipment. Organisations spend thousands of pounds on their defibrillators but sometimes fail to consider the practical side of using them.

When a casualty has a sudden collapse the quicker the AED is applied the better their chances of survival. You may have a defib there is matter of moments, but if there is a delay in its application because there is no razor to shave a casualty’s chest, their chances of survival are reduced.

Defibrillators may not work on chests with too much hair. The electro pads on an AED need to be in direct contact with the patient’s skin, so if their hair is too excessive, it can actually prevent the pads from sticking to their skin.

Disposable razor

For successful defibrillation the electricity needs to flow from one electrode pad to the other, going through the chest. If the pads aren’t stuck on properly the charge of electricity will flow across the chest instead of through it. Not only will this be ineffective treatment it could also cause sparks and fire to start.

Scissors / shears

Defibrillator pads need to be applied to bare skin and not over clothing. Removing clothing from an unconscious victim (who is a ‘dead weight’) can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Special ‘tough cut’ scissors can speed up this process and save valuable time.

A CPR face shield / pocket mask

In most cases CPR will be performed when using a defibrillator. A CPR face shield or pocket mask is an important piece of equipment to protect the first aider from any blood or bodily fluids

We suggest an AED prep kit contains:

  • Disposable razor - suitable for shaving the area where pads will be placed

  • Tuff-Kut scissors - strong and sharp enough to cut through patients clothing

  • Nitrile gloves (powder free) - essential protection for the user

  • Res-cue mask (reusable) - protects the user when giving rescue breaths

  • Cleansing wipes (10pk) - suitable for wiping patients chest before placing pads

  • Tissues (10pk) - used for drying patients chest after using cleansing wipes

  • Foil blanket (disposable) - designed to retain patients body heat until paramedics arrive

  • Zenith pouch (zippered) - convenient storage for the responder kit

AED preps kits are inexpensive and are available here:

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