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Automated external defibrillator use: What are they and how are they used?

Automated external defibrillators
Automated external defibrillators are simple to use, but it is highly recommended that sufficient training is obtained prior to actual use:

AEDs (or automated external defibrillators) are battery operated portable devices that provide critical medicare in the event of a cardiac arrest.  They are simple to use, in fact, it is quite possible for someone without any training whatsoever to use it properly the first time and successfully revive a person in the event of a medical situation.

What do AEDs do?

AEDs detect abnormal heartbeat rhythms through the two shock pads that are placed at the top left and bottom right of the patient’s torso. Once in analyzing mode the shock pads detect what kind of heartbeat rhythm the patient has, which determines whether or not a shock is needed to re-establish a normal heartbeat rhythm.

Danger-of-An-Irregular-Heartbeat-types
A normal heartbeat rhythm vs abnormal:

Abnormal heartbeat rhythms:

  • Ventricular bradycardia: Heart beat too slow, abnormal.
  • Ventricular tachycardia: Heart beat too fast, abnormal.
  • Ventricular fibrillation (or v-fib): Rapid, irregular heartbeat rhythm.
  • Asystole: No heartbeat rhythm, no electrical activity, or “flat line.”

How AED's Save Lives:

AEDs detect the heartbeat rhythm of a patient.  If the shock pads detect an abnormal heartbeat rhythm (bradycardia, tachycardia, fibrillation), the AED will charge up to deliver a shock to the torso are an effort to re-start the heart and re-establish a normal heartbeat rhythm.

What about asystole?

It is a common myth to assume that a defibrillator will shock the heart when it is “flat line” in order to re-establish a heart beat rhythm.  The truth is, the AED doesn’t deliver any shock if asystole is detected.  In order to re-establish a heartbeat rhythm again, manual CPR compression is needed.  Paramedics can also inject adrenaline drugs in the body in order to stimulate electrical activity in the heart in combination with manual CPR compression and oxygen administration.

Do I need training in order to use an AED?

AED manufacturers make the use of AEDs as simple as possible through voice prompts.  As soon as you turn the AED on, the AED will give you systematic voice prompts to instruct you on what to do.  The most common voice prompts an AED gives you are:

  1. AED is on and initialized.
  2. Remove clothing from person’s chest.
  3. Attach pads as shown on the diagrams on the shock pads.
  4. Plug in connector.
  5. AED in analyzing mode and to stand clear of the body.
  6. AED determines whether or not a shock is needed.  If needed, it will charge up.  A warning sound will sound off and another alert to stand clear will be given.
  7. Instruction to push the shock button.
  8. Perform CPR compressions for 2 minutes.
  9. Repeats at step 5.

By simply following the voice prompts systematically, it is very possible for someone who has not had any training in automated external defibrillator use to successfully revive a patient in cardiac arrest.  However, it is highly recommended to obtain proper automated external defibrillation training prior to use due to the fact that any mistake you make can be fatal.  The most common mistakes that our first aid instructors see from their students are:

  1. Pushing the shock button when someone else is performing CPR.
  2. Pushing the shock button when a bystander is touching the patient.
  3. Pushing the shock button when a body part is still touching the patient (i.e. knee touching patient’s torso).
  4. Pushing the shock button when a body part is too close to the patient.
  5. Failure to tell crowd around the patient to stand clear when delivering the shock.
  6. Improper sequence of AED use (i.e. plugging in connector first, turning on AED last).
  7. Distraction from bystanders, causing a disruption in concentration.
AED training
Proper AED training can mean the difference between life and death:
Other things to consider when using an AED:
  • What to do if the patient is pregnant.
  • What to do to if the patient has excess chest hair.
  • What to do if the patient has jewelry or metal framed bras.
  • What to do if the person is too wet (i.e. just came out of the pool).
  • What do to if the person as an implanted defibrillator or pacemaker.

How our academy can help with proper AED use:

The Academy for First Aid and Safety of Toronto can deliver comprehensive theory and hands on training for automated external defibrillator use so you can use an AED confidently in the event of a cardiac arrest emergency.  Regulation 1101 of the Employment Standards Act of Ontario has made AED use a mandatory subject when employees obtain their first aid and CPR certification.

The Academy for First Aid and Safety is a registered and certified training partner with the Canadian Red Cross Society.  We deliver hands on, comprehensive first aid training courses (including CPR, AED use) which meet the provincial requirements as outlined from WSIB of Ontario and the Ministry of Labour.  Our academy services the greater Toronto area including Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham.

What You Need To Know About On-line First Aid Training

So your employer or school has requested you to obtain first aid and CPR certification and you decide to obtain your certification from one of those on-line first aid providers.  You do the course completely on-line, finish it, and print out your certificate that is automatically generated.  Great, that was easy!  Well, not so fast:

In the province of Ontario, only WSIB approved first aid providers are considered acceptable for employment and educational purposes.  No first aid and CPR courses taken solely on-line is approved.  There must be an in-class practical component in order for the first aid to be acceptable.

Ontario WSIB and OHS approved first aid courses
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario and the Ontario Health Association has a select few first aid and CPR trainer providers that are approved for employment and educational purposes:

“We get students come to our academy all the time with the same problem: They pay money to obtain first aid and CPR certifciation solely on-line, only for their employer or school to reject the certification because it does not meet the needs of approved first aid and CPR,” says Kien Hoang, a first aid and CPR instructor from the Academy For First Aid and Safety of Toronto: A Canadian Red Cross training partner headquartered at 2428 Islington Avenue, Unit 17.

Students need to be aware that the first aid and CPR certification they need to obtain must be on the list of approved first aid trainers, as listed on the Ontario WSIB website.

Blended on-line + in-class first aid and CPR available by the Canadian Red Cross!

The Canadian Red Cross, in partnership with the Academy For First Aid and Safety of Toronto offers a unique blended learning experience where students would be able to obtain their standard first aid and CPR certification in just 1 day in-class. This is made possible by learning an on-line component prior to attending the classroom.  By offering a blended on-line + in-class version of the course (which typically used to be 2 days of in-class training), students can now spend less time in a classroom and more time on the job or at school!  As always, our blended on-line + in-class first aid and CPR courses fully meet the WSIB requirements for approved first aid and CPR.

How does the blended on-line + in-class standard first aid course work?

  1. Student registers for the standard first aid and CPR course.
  2. After successful registration, student will get an e-mail from the Canadian Red Cross’s campus website with the PIN code to start their on-line component right away.  This takes on average 4-6 hours to complete, depending on how fast you learn.  This is an overview of what to learn in the in-class component.
  3. After completing the on-line component, a certificate is generated which states that student has completed the on-line component of the standard first aid and CPR course.  It is highly recommended that you print this certificate and bring it to your class to show the instructor, but not necessary.  Your instructor can check on-line to verify that you have completed your in-class component.  Please note that you MUST complete your on-line component prior to commencing your in-class component!
  4. Attend your 1 day in-class first aid and CPR course.
  5. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive your standard first aid and CPR certification at the end!

The blended on-line +in-class standard first aid and CPR course that The Academy For First Aid and Safety is a fantastic blended first aid course which allows everyone to obtain their certification in just one day!  Spend less time in a classroom and more time on the job!  For complete information about the blended first aid and CPR courses we offer in Toronto, please visit our course selector page.

The Academy For First Aid and Safety Logo
The Academy For First Aid and Safety is an authorized and approved training partner with the Canadian Red Cross. We deliver WSIB compliant and approved first aid and CPR courses in Toronto. For more information about our courses, please visit www.academyfor1staid.ca.

Beware of phantom first aid & CPR training providers!

Beware of uncertified and non WSIB compliant first aid training!

When choosing a training provider for your first aid and CPR certification needs, it is crucial for everyone to do a little research about the training institution prior to paying for any course.

In Ontario, employers are bound by safety rules and regulations from both the Ontario Safety Association (or OSA) and the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (or WSIB) to provide adequate first aid training by a certified training provider, as outlined in the Workplace Safety Insurance Act of Ontario.

Ontario WSIB and OHS approved first aid courses
The Ontario WSIB and OSA have strict mandatory first aid requirements for employers:

What type of first aid certification does WSIB require employees and employers to hold?

The Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) requires all employees to possess valid first aid and CPR from a WSIB APPROVED FIRST AID TRAINING PROVIDER. 

So how do we know which training provider is approved by the WSIB?  The WSIB has a link that shows all the approved WSIB training providers found by clicking on their approved list of training providers to deliver emergency and standard first aid & CPR.

As you can see from the list, the Canadian Red Cross is approved Provincial wide, and The Academy for First Aid & Safety is a Red Cross training partner.   Also, our training partner status can be verified by visiting the Canadian Red Cross’ website.

Rest assured, your first aid certification obtained by our academy is recognized, valid, and approved certification that is complaint with both the WSIB and OSA.

 

Beware of non-compliant training providers:

Unfortunately, there are many so called “phantom” first aid training providers that provide to the general public first aid and CPR training programs.  The course fees are generally lower due to the fact that they are not WSIB compliant.  Although they can be as comprehensive as WSIB approved training providers, the end result is a first aid certification card that is non-compliant with the WSIB and OSA.

Legal ramifications in the workplace:

In the event of an on-site surprise audit by the WSIB, OSA, or both, if the employer and all their employees have been found to carry non-compliant first aid training, fines can be levied against the employer for failing to provide adequate first aid training as per Regulation 1101 from the Workplace Safety Insurance Act.  What’s worse, if there was ever an injury at the workplace and the WSIB decides to inspect the accident scene and discovers that employees have non-WSIB compliant first aid training, this could spell legal trouble when it comes to WSIB injury claims against the employer.

Protect yourself with these simple steps: