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A 25-year-old member asked:

If someone has a heart attack, do you use an aed first, or do chest compressions (cpr) first?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luke Hermann
Emergency Medicine 26 years experience
Neither: AED and chest compressions are performed in the setting of cardiac arrest- i.e. When the heart is not beating well enough to provide blood to the rest of the body. This is apparent because the patient will be unresponsive and will not have a pulse. Heart attack refers to a blockage of one of the arteries in the heart which typically causes chest pain but not unresponsiveness.
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 35 years experience
CPR first: It used to be AED in the past this has changed since last year.

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Last updated Jun 10, 2014


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