By using a defibrillator before an ambulance arrives, you can significantly increase a child’s chance of survival if they have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. While predominately more adults are affected by SCA than children, it can happen to anyone, at any age, at any time. Safety Dave is the leading choice for high quality and affordable safety equipment, including AEDs, in Australia. Read on to learn more about using AEDs on children.
How Common is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Children?
Fortunately, SCA is fairly uncommon in children. According to statistics, less than 1.5% of sudden cardiac arrest happens in people under the age of 15. Although SCA is rare in children, it can still occur, even in those children and adolescents who are physically fit. The good news is, when CPR and AEDs are administered within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest, death can be prevented.
What is an AED?
An AED (automated external defibrillator) is an electronic device that can analyse a heart rhythm to determine if a shock is needed for someone in cardiac arrest. Without prompt treatment (CPR and defibrillation), sudden cardiac arrest is always fatal.
Can an AED Be Used on Children?
While AEDs are manufactured with adults in mind, paediatric settings and pads adjust the energy level used, making them safe for young children who weigh less than 25 kilograms. All AEDs are designed to analyse a victim’s heart rhythm regardless of age, and if a shockable rhythm is detected, the device will prompt the rescuer to administer an electric shock, or deliver the shock automatically.
What are Paediatric AED Pads?
Paediatric electrode pads are for younger children (less than 8 years). They are typically smaller and feature a different colour packaging than adult pads, and the instructions and pad placement illustrations will depict a small child or infant. For children 8 years and older, adult pads should be used.
**Important – If infant or paediatric pads are not available, you CAN use the adult pads for a child less than 8 years, but you may have to apply them differently, applying one on the front of the chest, the other on the back, so they do not touch.
Buying an AED
If you are looking to purchase an AED for your home or business, ensure you buy from an Australian supplier and that it is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Make sure you display the AED so it is visible and accessible and ensure people know where it is. It is also important to maintain the AED regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Where a AED defibrillator is used within 4 minutes of cardiac arrest, a person has around a 70% chance of survival. If one isn’t used, the chance of survival is reduced to around only 5%. Regardless of age, AEDs can be the difference between life and death when cardiac arrest occurs. Invest in a high quality defibrillator today and have the peace of mind that you can help save a life of a loved one, colleague or even total stranger.
Safety Dave is Australia’s trusted supplier of AEDs, for more information or to purchase yours today, call us on 1800 072 338 or get in touch with us online now.