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AEDs Can Save Lives

Close up of an AED in a commercial building

If an individual is non-responsive, unconscious, and not exhibiting normal breathing, then the following actions must be taken:

  1. Call 911 immediately;
  2. Summon the automated external defibrillator (AED) to be brought to the victim immediately;
  3. Initiate CPR immediately;
  4. Continue CPR until the paramedics arrive; and
  5. Once the AED arrives, apply the AED.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically identifies abnormal cardiac rhythms and provides for a shock to convert them to a normal rhythm as appropriate. This includes the abnormal rhythms of ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.

Both of these can be readily treated through defibrillation, which is the application of electrical therapy to change the arrhythmia back into a normal rhythm in an appropriate candidate. The defibrillation “converts” the heart back to an effective rhythm, assuming the cardioversion was done in a timely manner.

One of the functions of the AED, as it analyzes the heart rhythm, is that it provides instructions to the user on whether to shock the heart or to continue compressions. cThe effectiveness of this lifesaving therapy and the need to apply it without delay is the reason why AEDs are now placed in many public locations.

An AED is a device that is both lightweight and portable. It is used to deliver an electric shock through your chest to the heart in the event you fall into cardiac arrest and require emergency resuscitation.

The failure to timely call for and/or apply an AED can be considered negligence.

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