An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a vital device used in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest where a victim is unresponsive. The device analyzes the victim’s heart and, if it detects a problem. delivers a shock to restore or restart the heart’s normal rhythm.
While most people are familiar with the concept from seeing large-scale AEDs on medical shows, many are unaware that AEDs are now handheld and designed for public and bystander use.
How Does an AED Work?
Most AEDs include voice prompts that walk a user through each step of use, including where to place the pad, when to step away, and when to perform CPR. Some will even provide a metronome for CPR.
Computer systems within the AED analyze the victim’s heart. If a problem is detected, the AED will either instruct the user to press a button to deliver a shock or deliver the shock on its own. In both situations, it only instructs a shock when necessary.
Can I accidentally shock someone with an AED?
All AEDs are failsafe and include protection that prevents them from shocking someone who is not in cardiac arrest.
Battery pads are provided within the AED and are replaced after every use.
Why do we need more AEDs?
There are over 300,000 cardiac arrest events every year. Of those, 92% do not survive because of the amount of time that passed while awaiting medical attention.
For every minute that passes after a Sudden Cardiac Arrest a victim loses 10% chance of survival. Average EMS response time are around 9-minutes (30-mins in rural areas). At this point, most victims only have 10% survival left when responders reach them.
Greater access to AEDs could save 40,000 lives a year.
Where can I find AED and CPR training?
Parent Heart Watch, the National Voice for Sudden Cardiac Arrest has an excellent resource for local trainings across the country.
Or check out this video from CallPushShock.com