Performing full CPR in conjunction with the use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) immediately following cardiac arrest can double the person’s chance of survival. If you are trained in First Aid and certified to operate an AED, remember the appropriate protocol:

Check, Call, Care

The scene – is it safe?
The person for responsiveness – if they do not respond to you, check the ABC’s
Airway – open it using the head tilt/chin lift method
Breathing – look, listen and feel for up to 10 seconds. If they are not breathing, give 2 breaths
Circulation – glance quickly down the length of the body for any signs of deadly bleeding

9-1-1 – it is better to have someone else call so that you can begin administering First Aid. Have someone bring an AED as quickly as possible if one is available.

Begin CPR immediately in cycles of 30 compression and 2 breaths


When the AED arrives:

  • Open the AED
  • Remove any clothing or objects (including jewelry or medical patches) from the person that may come in contact with the pads
  • Ensure that the person’s chest is dry and free of hair so the pads can stick (there are towels and a razor in the little case attached to the AED bag)
  • Follow the diagrams on the pads to place them properly on the person’s chest
  • Follow the automated prompts of the AED
  • When the AED tells you that a shock is about to be delivered, stand clear of the person and ensure that everyone else is a safe distance away from the person also
Because the AED operates using radio frequency, cell phones and other devices may not be used within a 1 meter radius of the AED when it is being operated!