Heart Attack or Cardiac Emergency

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

In the event of a cardiac emergency there are AEDs located in each building. In multiple story buildings AEDs can be found on odd floors in common areas such as elevator lobbies, and entrances. Additionally, the University police have AEDs in their squad cars. University police are available 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

Upon hearing an AED cabinet alarm or in the event of a suspected cardiac emergency, contact or have someone contact Public Safety at 911. (From cell phones call 256-824-6911)

a. Inform the dispatcher of the situation and the building and room number.
b. University police will immediately be dispatched to the location.

  • The police officer will bring an AED to the location or will use the one already available at the site.
  • The dispatcher will notify Huntsville Fire and Rescue (HFR) and Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) and secure their response.
  • A University Police Officer or a designated employee will direct the Emergency Medical Provider to the victim.

Any person providing assistance to the victim must:

  1. Assess scene safety
  2. Use personal protective equipment.
  3. Assess responsiveness. Tap the victim's shoulder and shout "Are you okay?"
  4. If the victim is not responsive make sure emergency response has been activated and 911 called.
  5. Check ABCs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation)
    • Assess Airway. Head tilt, chin lift to open airway or slide the lid to the Zoll AED unit under the victim's shoulders. The thicker portion should be under the shoulders with the thin part lower on the back. This props up the shoulders tilting the head back to open the airway.
    • Assess Breathing. Look, listen, and feel. If the victim is not breathing, use the mask to deliver two rescue breaths.
    • Assess Circulation. Check pulse. If absent, begin chest compressions and continue CPR.

Using the AED

NOTE: CPR must be used with the AED

  1. Turn the defibrillator on as soon as it arrives.
  2. Connect the AED to the victim immediately. If the victim has excessive hair, shave it. If the victim is wet, dry the chest. The AED will provide audible instructions for CPR and analyze heart rhythm.
  3. Follow the AED prompts.
  4. Allow AED to analyze. Do not touch the victim during the analysis.
  5. If indicated, push the button to administer a shock. Be sure nobody touches the victim while the charge is administered.

Continue as per the AED instructions.