When To Use An Automated External Defibrillator

One of the most important pieces of equipment in a first responder’s kit is an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Often times, these lifesaving devices can be found in public places like schools, airports, and malls. They are meant to help people who are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest due to heart disease.

What is an automated external defibrillator?


An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lifesaving device that uses an electric shock to restart the heart. If someone has a cardiac arrest, the AED can be used to deliver a shock to the heart until it starts beating again. CPR and other interventions may be continued while the AED is working.


When should you use it?


The American Heart Association recommends that people use an automated external defibrillator (AED) if they experience any of the following symptoms: sudden cardiac arrest, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.


When to use an automated external defibrillator


The best time to use an AED is when someone has sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart stops beating normally. It can happen for many reasons, including a heart attack or a blockage in the arteries supplying the heart with blood. When an AED is used in SCA, it can help restart the heart and prevent serious long-term damage.


Types of automated external defibrillator


There are three main types of AEDs: manual, automatic, and shockable. Manual AEDs require someone to operate them. Automatic AEDs are operated by a computerized system and will shock a person if CPR is not started within 5 minutes. Shockable AEDs require two shocks in order to start CPR and will shock the person multiple times until CPR is started.




When you should use an automated external defibrillator (AED) can seem like a daunting question. After all, what if you don’t know when someone has stopped breathing? The truth is that the decision to use an AED is not as difficult as it may seem, and there are few wrong answers.

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