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What Should You Do If You Need to Use an AED on Someone Who Has Been Submerged in Water

What Should You Do If You Need to Use an AED on Someone Who Has Been Submerged in Water

Imagine a day at the beach or pool, enjoying the sun and water with friends and family. Suddenly, someone collapses near the water, unconscious and not breathing. In such a critical situation, knowing how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) could mean the difference between life and death. But what should you do if you need to use an AED on someone who has been submerged in water? Using an AED on a wet victim has its challenges and risks. This blog post will guide you through the necessary steps and precautions to take when using an AED on someone who has been submerged in water, helping you act confidently and effectively in a water-related emergency.

Understanding the Risks of Using an AED on a Wet Victim

Understanding the Risks of Using an AED on a Wet Victim

Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere, including near or in water. Using an AED on someone who has been submerged in water poses unique challenges. One of the main risks is the potential hazard of electricity and water mixing, which can cause the shock delivered from the AED to pass on to other people in the water, resulting in unnecessary shocks to all and removing the charge from the person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Additionally, the AED’s adhesive electrode pads may fail to adhere to the patient’s chest if it is wet, making it difficult to deliver the necessary electric shock to the heart.

It is crucial to understand these risks and take appropriate measures to minimize them. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform hands-on CPR until the victim can be safely treated with an AED. However, always prioritize using an AED, as it is the most effective device to restore a normal heart rhythm in cardiac arrest victims.

Preparing to Use an AED on a Wet Victim

Preparing to Use an AED on a Wet Victim

Before attempting to use an AED on someone who has been submerged in water, it is essential to prepare the victim and the surrounding area properly. This involves removing the victim from the water, drying their chest, and removing any wet clothing. Taking these steps not only minimizes the risks associated with using an AED on a wet victim but also ensures that the device can effectively analyze the person’s heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed.

In situations where an AED cannot be used on a wet victim, it is recommended to start CPR without using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Removing the Victim from Water

The first thing to do when responding to someone in cardiac arrest who is submerged in water is to extract the individual from the water and transfer them to a dry area. This important step ensures that the shock delivered from the AED does not spread to other individuals in the water, giving unnecessary shocks to everyone and removing control from the person experiencing cardiac arrest.

Once the victim is on dry land, verify that the surrounding area is also free from moisture, as standing water can pose a risk of electric shock to rescuers and bystanders. If the victim is not breathing, it is essential to initiate CPR promptly and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) if available and the victim is dry.

Drying the Victim’s Chest

Properly drying the victim’s chest is critical to guarantee the optimal adhesion of the AED pads. Remove all the moisture from the skin to dry the chest. Any available items can be used for this purpose. Remember to dry as much surface area as possible, including:

  • the ribs

  • upper stomach

  • neck

  • armpits

It is essential to ensure that the chest is completely dry and free of wet clothes before attaching AED pads, as even a small amount of water can impede the attachment of the AED pads and prevent the current from passing through the victim’s chest, reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.

Thoroughly drying the patient’s chest before attaching AED pads is crucial for successful adhesion and treatment.

Removing Wet Clothing

In order to access the victim’s bare chest for AED placement, it is imperative to remove any wet clothing from the victim. If you don’t have access to scissors, you can’t get the shirt off quickly. Ripping or pulling the shirt off over the neck is the best option.

With the wet clothing removed, use a towel or other absorbent material to dry the victim’s chest, ensuring the area is properly prepared for AED pad placement. Keep in mind the correct positioning of AED pads: one on the lower half of the victim’s chest and one on the upper half, as described in the AED unit’s user manual.

Proper AED Pad Placement on a Wet Victim

Proper AED Pad Placement on a Wet Victim

Once the victim’s chest is dry and free of clothing, it is time to attach the AED pads. Proper pad placement is crucial for the AED to analyze the victim’s heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed. Before attaching the pads, ensure there is no water present on the victim’s skin or in the vicinity of their chest, as water can interfere with the pads’ adhesion and the delivery of the electric shock.

Following the AED unit’s user manual, position the pads on the victim’s chest according to the guidelines provided. Press the pads firmly against the victim’s chest to guarantee they are securely attached.

Positioning of AED Pads

Proper positioning of AED pads on a person’s chest is crucial for effective treatment. Position one pad on the upper right side of the chest, just below the collarbone. The other pad should be placed on the lower left side of the chest.

Following these guidelines will help ensure that the electric shock is delivered effectively and can potentially save the victim’s life.

Ensuring AED Pads Adhere to the Skin

To ensure that the AED pads adhere correctly, it may be necessary to remove chest hair, as hair can interfere with the adhesive electrode pads’ attachment to the skin. Once you attach AED pads, press them firmly against the victim’s chest, ensuring there are no spaces or openings between the pad and the skin. This will help guarantee that the AED can rapidly assess the situation and decide if a shock is necessary or not.

It is important to remember that the AED pads, also known as electrode pads, must be placed correctly in order for the AED to work properly.

Following AED Instructions for Treating Cardiac Arrest Victims

Following AED Instructions for Treating Cardiac Arrest Victims

When treating someone who has been submerged in water, it is important to follow the automated external defibrillator unit’s user manual to ensure the best possible outcome. Assess the victim’s chest for wetness and follow the recommended procedure for drying the chest if necessary.

Once the AED pads are attached, the device will analyze the victim’s heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed. Follow the AED’s instructions, standing clear of the patient’s body during shock delivery, and continuing CPR or first aid as instructed by the device.

Safety Precautions During AED Use Near Water

Safety Precautions During AED Use Near Water

Using an AED near the water requires extra caution to ensure the safety of both the victim and rescuers. When delivering an electric shock, remain at a safe distance from the patient to prevent potential injury to the rescuer. Bystanders should also stand clear to avoid any risk of electric shock.

It is essential to always prioritize the safety of everyone involved in the rescue process. By taking the appropriate precautions and following the AED’s instructions, you can help save a life while minimizing the risk of harm to yourself and others.

Recommended AED Machines for Use Around Water

Recommended AED Machines for Use Around Water

Certain AED machines that are recommended for use around water include:

  • HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P

  • HeartSine Samaritan PAD 450P

  • Philips OnSite

  • ZOLL AED Plus

These devices are specifically designed for use in wet environments and can be used around water with no risk to the victim.

It is important to note that AEDs should never be immersed in water or snow when treating cardiac arrest victims, as this can damage the device and pose a risk to both the victim and rescuers. Always ensure that the victim and surrounding area are dry before using an AED in a water-related emergency.

Saving Lives with AEDs: The Importance of Quick Action

Saving Lives with AEDs The Importance of Quick Action

Cardiac arrest due to drowning is a frequent occurrence, and rapid response is essential for increasing the likelihood of survival for those suffering sudden cardiac arrest. The quicker the AED is utilized, the greater the likelihood of survival. In cases where an AED is not immediately available, hands-on CPR should be initiated and continued until an AED can be deployed.

Knowing how to use an AED, especially in water-related emergencies, can make a significant difference in saving a life. By taking quick action and following the appropriate steps and precautions, you can help increase the chances of survival for someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest near water.

After an AED Shock is Administered

When handling emergencies, the question of “Which Action Should You Take Immediately After Providing An AED Shock” is pivotal for first responders and bystanders alike. After the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) delivers a shock, it’s imperative to promptly assess the patient’s breathing and pulse. If the individual is still not breathing or lacks a discernible pulse, one should continue with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), commencing with chest compressions. In the event that the victim begins to show signs of life or starts breathing, it’s advised to position them into a recovery posture and monitor their condition closely until professional medical assistance arrives. Furthermore, always keep the AED activated post-shock as the device will provide subsequent instructions and may recommend additional shocks if deemed necessary.

Summary

Using an AED on a wet victim can be challenging, but with the proper steps and precautions, it is possible to save lives in water-related emergencies. From removing the victim from the water and ensuring their chest is dry to attaching AED pads and following the device’s instructions, every action counts in the race against time.

Remember, the faster you act, the better the chances are of saving a life. Familiarize yourself with the proper use of an AED near water, and you will be ready to make a difference when it matters most.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use an AED on someone who was submerged in water?

It is important to dry the person and remove any clothing before using an AED on someone who is submerged in water.

Can you use an AED on a wet surface?

It is safe to use an AED in and around wet environments with no risk to the victim or rescuer.

How do I dry the victim’s chest before attaching AED pads?

Remove all the moisture from the victim’s chest by using anything available, including the ribs, upper stomach, neck, and armpits.

Dry the area thoroughly before attaching AED pads.

Where should I place the AED pads on the victim’s chest?

Position one AED pad just below the collarbone on the upper right side of the chest and the other pad on the lower left side.

What safety precautions should I take when using an AED near water?

Ensure you remain at a safe distance during the delivery of the electric shock, and that the area around the AED is dry and free from moisture.

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