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The UK Resuscitation Council states, "All clinical areas should have immediate access to an automated external defibrillator (AED)" and that Automated External Defibrillators will reduce mortality from cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia.
There has been a widespread deployment of such devices throughout the UK and the Department of Health’s ‘Public Access Defibrillation’ programme has ensured that such machines are now readily available and in common use.
The UK resuscitation council also states that the provision of an AED enables all dental staff to attempt defibrillation safely after relatively little training and their use is therefore recommended.
These defibrillators should have recording facilities and standardised consumables like self-adhesive electrode pads, and connecting cables. Adult AEDs can safely be used on children over 8 years old.
Some machines have pediatric pads or a mode that permits them to be ‘attenuated’ to make them more suitable for use in children between 1 and 8 years of age. These modifications should be considered for practices that regularly treat children. In cardiac arrest situations when pediatric pads or pediatric attenuation is not available, a standard adult AED may be used in a child over 1 year old. Staff should be familiar with the device in use on their premises and its mode of operation.
It is an expectation of the public that AEDs should be available in every healthcare environment, and the dental surgery is not seen as an exception.