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AEDs for Infants & Children

Hi, everyone. Welcome to part 6, use of the automatic external defibrillator for children and infants. When we’re talking about kids and infants, first thing is the age group. We’re talking about an age group between 1 year old and 8 years old. After 8, we’re really talking about an adult, so from 1 to 8 years old.

What kind of defibrillator would be optimal? What would be best to use? Optimally, a manual defibrillator, a trained rescuer with a manual defibrillator. One reason is we can really dial in and adjust the amount of energy we’re going to administer to the pediatric patient. The other advantage to a manual defibrillator is the patient may require cardioversion versus defibrillation, which we could do with a manual defibrillator. We can’t really do that with an AED. Optimally, use a manual defibrillator if you have one. Next best option would be an automatic external defibrillator that has pediatric pads and a pediatric attenuator. These are machines that you really have to know the operation of because there may be a button on the machine that you have to adjust to change the machine settings from adult to pediatric. With some AEDs, this happens automatically when you plug in your pediatric pads. You plug this into the AED, the AED recognizes you plugged in pediatric pads, and the machine goes, “Oh, okay, now I’m looking at a kid.” It’ll adjust itself automatically, but you have to know how that machine works. If you don’t have a manual defibrillator, you don’t have an AED with pediatric pads and a pediatric attenuator, if all you have is an adult AED and adult pads and a kid to shock, use the adult AED. That’s fine. If that’s all you have, use that. The pads are going to be larger proportionally on a pediatric patient, so you’ll place one pad anterior, one pad posterior, and use the adult AED to shock your pediatric patient.

This has been a quick review of the use of an automatic external defibrillator on children and infants. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.