When Should the Rescuer Operating the Aed Clear the Victim?

AED defibrillator, AED automated external defibrillator. It is set up to automatically check if aedvictim is breathing and if the heart stops beating. So it can clear the victim. The rescuer should clear the victim when they are checking if the victim’s heart is beating regularly or not. If they are not sure if aedvictim is breathing normally, it is fine to leave them on the bed with aedrescuer laying behind them.

After completing the analysis and before delivering a shock

If the rescuer has not completed the analysis, or cannot complete it within 5 seconds, or if the diagnosis is uncertain, CPR should be provided while waiting for help to arrive and until an AED is available. If an AED is immediately available, CPR should be stopped.

In some cases, a rescuer can deliver a shock without completing an analysis by pressing the red button on the AED and continuing CPR until the next shock able rhythm is detected. This practice may increase survival but raises concerns about liability if the victim does not survive.

Just before delivering the shock

The rescuer should always clear the victim before administering CPR or shocks. Never give a shock to someone who is still in contact with a source of electrical current.

The rescuer should follow this sequence:

  • Clear the victim from all sources of electrical current, including power lines and equipment.
  • Check for breathing by observing for chest rise and fall. If there is no breathing, provide artificial ventilation with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Check for pulse if there is no pulse, begin CPR, starting with rescue breaths.

Clear the victim

The rescuer operating the AED must clear the victim before using the device.The AED prompts the rescuer to clear the victim by saying, “Clear.” The rescuer should clear the victim only after the device prompts them to do so.

After clearing the victim, the rescuer should listen for a second voice prompt from the AED. This is usually a confirmation of whether or not to administer CPR and shock. If there is no second voice prompt after clearing, then it is safe to administer CPR and shock.

Only if bystanders are in the way

The rescuer operating the AED should clear the victim only if bystanders are in the way. The rescuer should not clear the victim just because he or she is afraid of getting shocked while using the AED.If bystanders are in the way, move them away from the victim. If they refuse to move, take control by moving them forcibly.

If you’re using an automated external defibrillator (AED), follow these guidelines:

  • Only use an AED on a person who has stopped breathing or has no pulse.
  • Clear bystanders away from the victim to give yourself room to work. But don’t move people who are touching each other; they might be attached by something like a leash or cord and could be injured if separated suddenly.
  • Clear everyone out of the immediate area, including yourself if there’s room behind you, but don’t step into water or onto wet ground if possible electrical shock is more likely if your body is wet.
  • Ask for help from another bystander if possible, someone with medical training, for example and have that person stand by ready to help with CPR as soon as possible after giving shocks.

Before the rescuer presses the analyze button

The rescuer should clear the victim before they press the analyze button.

This is because if they don’t clear the victim and press the analyze button, and there is a shock delivered to the victim, it may take some time for them to become responsive again. If you don’t clear them before pressing the analyze button, then they may only be able to use that particular AED one time before having to call 911, which could mean life or death for that person.

When should rescuer who is operating the AED begin CPR?

The victim is unconscious and not breathing. The rescuer operating the AED should begin CPR until the AED arrives, then continue CPR while the unit analyzes the victim’s heart rhythm.The victim is conscious but unresponsive. The rescuer operating the AED should perform a brief examination to determine if there are any signs of circulation. If no signs of circulation are present, then CPR should be initiated immediately.

The victim has signs of circulation. The rescuer operating the AED may begin CPR if this information is not available from another bystander or professional who has already begun CPR.

Do not allow anyone to touch the patient while it analyzes their heart rhythm

If someone is unconscious and not breathing normally, they need immediate help.You can use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the person’s heart back into a normal rhythm.

If you have an AED available, follow these steps:

Do not allow anyone to touch the patient while it analyzes their heart rhythm.If the device analyzes that electrical shocks are needed, follow its instructions and administer them as quickly as possible. If the device does not recommend an electrical shock, or recommends that one be delayed, follow its instructions and continue CPR until the patient responds.

The rescuer should clear for at least 2-3 seconds

If the victim is not breathing, the rescuer should administer two breaths of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If the victim still does not start to breathe, the rescuer should begin chest compressions.

After administering two breaths and starting chest compressions, if the AED indicates shock able rhythm, the rescuer should deliver a shock. If there is no victim response after three rounds of CPR and shocks, it may be necessary to perform CPR without an AED until professional help arrives.


In summary, when you are operating the aed, and need to clear the victim, you should take the time to analyze the rhythm. This will remove any uncertainty from your mind about what you are treating. You should also wait for confirmation that the victim is not receiving CPR before configuring the pads for shock delivery and then delivering a shock.