Children & Defibrillators:
What You Need to Consider
A question that we often ask is whether defibrillators are safe to use on children. Most defibrillators have been designed so that they can be safely used on children—many defibrillator manufacturers also provide Child or paediatric electrode pads that are specifically designed to suit smaller bodies and children.
The team here at First Aid Accident & Emergency have put together a summary of some important considerations to think about when it comes to children and defibrillators:
Defibrillator safety & children:
When you think of a patient suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), most of us will typically picture an adult, not a child. The facts, however, tell us that SCA is very unpredictable and there’s still a chance of fit and healthy individuals (including children) suffering from it.
Although its not common, it‘s still possible for a child to experience a SCA and the management process is much the same as it is for an adult. The main difference that helps to ensure safety and a smooth resuscitation is that there are specially designed electrode pads and batteries which have an impedance device that reduces the shock into the heart and are better suited to a child.
Defibrillators sometimes have an option that include a set of child electrodes, or a built in option within the AED for a child, such a device is made by LifePak and is called the CR2 Defibrillator. These defibrillators have a paediatric capability and are suited for the child. The impedance within this electrode will also provide an appropriate energy level for a child.
These kinds of pads and battery packs are usually best for babies and children up to 8 years of age or weighing up to 25kg. Always be sure to check with your defib, pads and battery to be certain of the age and weight that is suitable.
Some defibrillators can also be switched to a ‘child mode’ for the resuscitation and instructions will be specific to a child, including the pad placement and CPR process.
The Australian Resuscitation Council- ARC, recommends that if your defibrillator does not have child pads, use it anyway as no harm can be caused to a baby or child with an adult pad pack.
Defibrillators in Childcare & Schools:
Due to the unpredictability of cardiac arrest, drownings or heart problems at school, the team at FAAE recommends that all schools invest in an AED to keep on campus. Teachers and children of all ages, including both primary and high school age, could benefit from having a defibrillator, this could make the difference between life and death.
A teacher or parent might also be struck with SCA, so it’s extremely important to ensure your school is prepared for a medical emergency where resuscitation is required. The chances of survival are significantly increased when a defibrillator is used compared to using just CPR.
For more information on defibrillators and children—get in contact with the experts at FAAE today. If you’ve been considering purchasing a defibrillator, browse our online shop which includes defibrillator packs which have been specially designed for schools.
Schools Defib Bundle: For Adults and Children
The team at FAAE have put together a range of specif school defibrillator bundle packs to make your purchase easy. The bundles comes with everything needed in and education facility with adults and children and include:
- Child pads or paediatric capability
- Wall mount cabinet for AED
- AED Signage
- Patient Prep Kits
- Online training for all staff.
Check out our School Defibrillator Bundle options here
Purchase a school defibrillator pack today
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