Early Defibrillation Program

The automatic external defibrillator (AED) enables targeted and trained responders at Northwestern to deliver early defibrillation to victims in the first critical moments after a sudden cardiac arrest.

Responders' use of the AED should not replace the care provided by emergency medical services (EMS) providers, but it is meant to provide a lifesaving bridge during the first few critical minutes before advanced life support providers arrive. Upon arrival of the EMS providers, patient care should be transferred.

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Emergency Procedures

Activate 9-1-1

  • Assess scene safety.
  • Assess responsiveness. Tap shoulder and shout "Are you OK?"
  • Activate emergency response plan.
    • Call 9-1-1. Provide dispatcher with location, emergency details and notify them that an AED is being deployed within the University.
    • Broadcast over the PA system an announcement to activate targeted responders and indicate the location of the patient.
    • Check ABCs:
      • Assess Airway. Perform head-tilt, chin lift to open airway.
      • Assess Breathing. Look, listen, feel. If breathing is absent, use barrier mask to deliver 2 rescue breaths.
      • Assess Circulation. Check carotid pulse. If pulse is absent begin CPR.

Early CPR

  • Perform CPR until the AED arrives
  • Compress and release chest 15 times (Rate: 80-100 compressions/minute)
  • Ventilate. Give 2 rescue breaths.
  • Continue CPR. 15 compressions/2 rescue breaths. Check pulse after 4 cycles and every few minutes thereafter.

Early Defibrillation

Instructions for one-rescuer approach:

  • When defibrillator arrives:
    • Place AED near head of patient on same side as the rescuer
    • Turn on the AED
    • Bare and prepare chest (cut or tear away clothing, if excessive chest hair, shave or clip; dry the chest if wet)
    • Follow AED's verbal and visual prompts
    • Apply electrodes (follow drawings on pads)
    • Allow AED to analyze
    • If indicated, deliver shock by pressing the orange button.
    • Continue care per AED Treatment algorithm (see next page).

Early Advanced Care Life Support

  • Have a designated person wait for EMS providers at front entry of main building and help guide them through building and security doors to the patient.
  • Responders working on the victim should communicate any important information to the EMS providers such as:
    • Victim's name.
    • Any known medical problems, allergies or medical history.
    • Time the victim was found.
    • Initial and current condition of victim.
    • Information from AED screen.
    • Number of shocks delivered.
    • Length of time defibrillator has been used.
    • Help EMS personnel as requested.

AED Station Inventory

Suggested minimum quantities of supplies:

  • One AED
  • One User's Guide
  • One storage bracket or container (optional)
  • Two sets of electrodeso (one installed battery and one spare)
  • One installed PC data card and one spare (optional)
  • One carrying case (optional)
  • One mouth barrier device (optional)
  • One razor (optional)
  • One pair of scissors (optional)
  • One set of gloves (optional)
  • 4x4 gauze (optional)

Post-use Procedure

Targeted Responder

  • Notify Coordinator (see below) within 2 hours.
  • Remove used PC data card and replace it with a spare. Label used PC data card with patient information and deliver to Coordinator according to medical protocol or local guidelines.
  • Conduct employee incident debriefing, as needed.
  • Complete incident follow-up report as deemed necessary by the Coordinator.
  • Restock any used electrode pads, batteries, razors or gloves. Inspect unused supplies for any damage or old expiration dates.
  • Remove and replace battery in the AED and do a Battery Insertion Test (BIT) prior to replacing AED into service.
  • Clean the AED if needed. Review User's Guide for list of appropriate cleaning agents.

AED Coordinator

  • Notify Medical Director within 72 hours.

Regular Maintenance

See User's Guide for complete maintenance schedule.

Daily and After Each Use

  • Check the Status Indicator. Verify alternating dark and hourglass shapes indicating readiness for use. (See AED User's Guide for explanation of a flashing red X, a solid red X, or a constant dark shape.)
  • Ensure all supplies, accessories and spares are present and are in operating condition. Check expiration dates and any obvious signs of damage.

Weekly and After Each Use

  • Inspect the exterior and connector for signs of damage.

After Each Use

  • Inspect the exterior and connector for dirt or contamination.
  • Check status indicator. Perform a Battery Insertion Test (BIT) to confirm AED is ready to be put back in service.
  • Remove PC data card (if used in your system) and replace it with a spare. Apply a patient ID label to the used PC data card and deliver to the AED Coordinator.

Medical Director & AED Coordinator

The Medical Director has authority over the entire AED program and its participants. General responsibilities include the establishment and maintenance of the guidelines for care included in this protocol. In addition, the Medical Director also ensures quality assurance, compliance to protocols, proper training and provides positive reinforcement to individuals and the system, as well as corrective instruction.

Medical Director: Dr. Glenn E. Aldinger
Phone Number: (847) 316-6117

The AED Coordinator is the primary liaison between the University's AED program and the Medical Director. This person has responsibility for maintaining all equipment and supplies, organizing training programs and regular re-training programs, forwarding any incident data to the Medical Director and holding post-incident debriefing sessions for any employees involved.

AED Coordinator: Christopher Johnson
Phone Number: (847) 491-8518