What is an AED?
An AED is a device used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. Built-in computers assess the patient's heart rhythm, judge whether defibrillation is needed, and then administer the shock. Audible and/or visual
prompts guide the user through the process.
AED stands for automated external defibrillator (or automated external defibrillation).
How does an AED work?
A microprocessor inside the defibrillator interprets (analyzes) the victim's heart rhythm through adhesive electrodes
(some AED models require you to press an ANALYZE button). The computer analyzes the heart rhythm and advises
the operator whether a shock is needed. AEDs advise a shock only to ventricular fibrillation and fast ventricular tachycardia.
The electric current is delivered through the victim's chest wall through adhesive electrode pads.
Why are AEDs important?
AEDs are important because they strengthen the Chain of Survival. They can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims
of sudden cardiac arrest. New, portable AEDs enable more people to respond to a medical emergency that requires
defibrillation. When a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 7% to 10% for each
minute that passes without defibrillation. AEDs save lives!