Automated External Defibrillator

What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

An AED is a device about the size of a laptop computer that analyzes the heart's rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own.

For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by 10 percent.

Early defibrillation is the link in the Chain of Survival.

How does an AED work?

In an emergency, the automated external defibrillator essentially makes the decisions for you. It offers step-by-step voice instructions to guide you through the defibrillation process. It explains how to check for breathing and a pulse and how to position electrode pads on the person's chest.

Once the pads are in place, the AED automatically analyzes the person's heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. If it is, the machine tells you to stand back and instructs you to push a button to deliver the shock. It will also guide you through CPR. The process can be repeated as needed until emergency crews take over.


Reasons why AEDs are ESSENTIAL in schools, camps, gyms and on athletic fields:

  • Undetected cardiac problems
  • Heat Stroke
  • Blows to the chest
  • Heart concussions
  • Eating disorders that cause cardiac arrest