“An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable medical device that delivers an electric shock to the heart through the chest wall in order to restore normal heart rhythm. AEDs are used to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which is when the heart stops beating unexpectedly.”
AEDs were first developed in the 1960s, but they did not become widely available until the 1980s. Since then, they have been credited with saving millions of lives.
According to the American Heart Association, the survival rate for SCA victims who receive bystander CPR and an AED within 3 to 5 minutes is about 50%. This number drops to about 10% if CPR and an AED are not administered.
AEDs are easy to use and can be operated by anyone with basic training. The device will walk the user through the steps of defibrillation, and it will only deliver a shock if it is necessary.
AEDs are now widely available in public places such as schools, businesses, and sports stadiums. They are also becoming increasingly common in homes.
If you see someone who is unconscious and not breathing, call 911 immediately and then start CPR. If an AED is available, use it as soon as possible.
Here are some statistics on the use of AEDs:
Here are some medical considerations for using an AED:
If you are ever in a situation where you need to use an AED, please do not hesitate. It could save a life.
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