Can an AED be used in a boat or if a casualty is lying in the snow?

Thursday 16 March 2:05 PM

An extract from the ARC states “Rescuers should follow the prompts: care should be taken not to touch the person during shock delivery. There are no reports of harm to rescuers from attempting defibrillation in wet environments”.

If you are unsure about using your AED in wet environments the best source of information is from the AED manufacturers themselves, who document minimal conduction of electricity to bystanders during defibrillation with AEDs.

As long as the rescuer does not have actual contact with the victim's chest (i.e. touching the chest to administer CPR), he or she is not at risk for significant electrical shock.

Furthermore, the longer the distance between the defibrillation pads and the bystanders, the less electricity will be transmitted. Those in a boat or on a conductive surface (metal or water) may feel, at most, a tingle. It’s important to try and find a dry area but that is not always possible.

Of course the basics of drying the chest before pad placement would be vital for good conductivity to occur.

It’s advisable to check with the manufacturer instructions, usually available form their web site but most AEDs, because they are self-grounded, can be safely used in wet environments and on metal surfaces with no risk to the victim or rescuer.