What is an AED?
An Automated External Defibrillator, commonly referred to as an AED, is a lightweight, portable device used in a sudden cardiac arrest emergency. Able to deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart to help stop an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume, and AED is a must have in an emergency.
Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function, if its is not treated within minutes, it can quickly lead to death. Most sudden cardiac arrests result form ventricular fibrillation, a rapid and unsynchronized heart rhythm originating in the heart’s lower pumping chambers (the ventricles). The heart must be shocked quickly. A victims chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest drops by 7%-10% for every minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored, after approximately 3 minutes irreversible brain/tissue damage occurs, waiting for a paramedic to arrive greatly lowers the chance of survival. To learn more about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and hear real-life survivor stories, click here.
AEDs are a Must-Have!
In an emergency situation every minute matters. AEDs make it possible for anyone to respond to a medical emergency with confidence, designed to be used by nonmedical people with no training, an AED can be the difference between life and death.
How Does an AED Work?
With voice-automated step-by-step instructions, an AED will walk a responder through the CPR process. The built-in computer checks a victim’s heart rhythm through adhesive pads placed on the body and calculates whether defibrillation is needed. Defibrillation will only be advised by the AED for ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib), a rapid and unsynchronized heart rhythm, or another life-threatening condition called pulseless ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach), a fast heart rhythm that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart causing arrhythmia. If the AED determines defibrillation is needed, the voice-automated instructions guide the responder through the shock process. When a shock is administered, it momentarily stuns the heart and stops all activity, giving the heart an opportunity to resume beating effectively.