Automated external defibrillators are life-saving pieces of equipment that allow almost anyone to quickly and easily save lives. They determine when defibrillation is appropriate to administer, and prompt users through every step of the process.
That said, even though an AED is excellent at determining when it should and should not administer a shock, there are some situations where an AED shouldn't be applied to begin with.
When To Avoid Using An AED
An AED shouldn't be used when it could do more harm than good. These situations, while rare, generally fall into two categories:
When it may not be able to obtain an accurate analysis of the patient.
When it may pose a hazard to people around the patient.
What Can Affect The Accuracy Of An AED?
An AED should not
be applied in situations where its analysis may be affected. This can
cause it to fail to administer a shock, or administer one in the
wrong situation. Moving vehicles, for an example, can negatively
impact an AED's accuracy and cause it to fail to recognize when a
shock should or shouldn't be delivered.
A lot of body hair can interfere with the adhesion of the pads themselves. This isn't a contraindication; some AED kits may come equipped with razors to remove some body hair to let the pads adhere effectively. However, any shaving must be performed extremely quickly-- a shock should be delivered as soon as possible after a patient begins going into cardiac arrest in order to give them the greatest chance at survival.