AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator.  Despite the long-winded, highly technical sounding name, the AED is extremely easy to use.  The only thing you have to remember and know how to do is hit the “on” button.   The AED will then voice-instruct you to do the rest.  It will command you to perform a series of instructions by talking to you the same way the iphone’s Siri talks to you.  All you have to do is listen and do what it says.  If you can do that, you can successfully help save someone’s life by listening and following simple step-by-step directions from this device.

An AED is an electronic device kept at most places of business in case of an emergency.  It is and should be used on a victim if they go into sudden cardiac arrest.

You do not need to be trained, licensed, nor certified in ANY way to be able or eligible to use this device But it is something that we Cover in our BLS CPR Classes and our Combination BLS CPR and First Aid Class.  Anyone and everyone is encouraged to use this in an effort to save someone’s life.

The more technical side of an AED and what it exactly does

AED’s should not be confused with what the paramedics use.  Although that is a different type of defibrillator, the two do two different functions:  the AED actually stops the heart, while the ones the paramedics use deliver a high voltage shock to the heart in an attempt to jumpstart the heart to beat again.

When the heart goes into cardiac arrest, or a heart attack in layman’s terms, it rocks off kilter on its axis. This is known as ventricular fibrillation.  When you hook up the AED to a persons’ chest, it analyzes whether or not the person that fell to the floor is suffering from V-fib.  If the AED determines this person is in fact experiencing ventricular fibrillation, it will recommend a shock, and the yellow triangle will start flashing cueing you to yell “clear” and hit the shock button.  This shock, once delivered, will attempt to stop the person’s heart.  This will facillitate the person’s heart to be started back up using CPR compressions.