Can I Use Adult AED Pads on a Child or Infant?

Hello Rescue Fans!AEDPadplace

I received a question via email about using an adult AED on a pediatric patient if there were no pediatric AED pads available.  The quick answer?  Yes, you can.  Remember, many newer AED’s are now attenuated and will usually give as much electricity as needed to accomplish de-fibrillation.  If at all possible, use an AED with pediatric pads and place them correctly on the chest and back of the pediatric patient.  If no pediatric pads are available, place the adult size AED pads on the front center of chest and in the middle of the child’s back approximately between the shoulder blades to ensure most effective de-fibrillation even with adult AED.  In the end, when a person is suffering sudden cardiac arrest, the majority of the time, they are in a some form of de-fibrillatable rythm and an AED is of great benefit,  even if the size of the pads don’t match.  Ages for the child ranges between 1-8 or first signs of puberty, after that, treat as an adult and if under 1 year of age, treat as an infant.  There’s some question as to the effectiveness of de-fibrillation in infants under 1 year.  See the above links for more details regarding this subject.

I hope this helps.

Keep On Rescuing!

Roy Shaw

Roy is the lead trainer and co-founder of ProTrainings. He is also an EMT paramedic whose opinions about rescue come from many years of experience on the ambulance.

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4 comments on “Can I Use Adult AED Pads on a Child or Infant?

  1. Thanks for clearing this one up Roy. Could you also clear up the use of pediatric pads on adults…..placement of the pads, as we would for an adult? Which one on the right and which on the left? Or, do we place them as indicated on the pads themselves?

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