Common AED questions answered

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are devices designed to administer electric shocks to people who have had heart attacks, and they can save lives. AED training is now widely available to help people to use these devices.

To help beginners understand the importance of AEDs, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked AED questions.

When should AEDs be used?

AEDs are designed for use when a person has suffered cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body.

How effective are AEDs?

The Resuscitation Council (UK) claims that when AEDs are used promptly, survival rates as high as 75 per cent have been reported. According to the British Heart Foundation, the chances of survival for a person who has suffered cardiac arrest decrease by around 14 per cent for every minute that passes without defibrillation.

Where are AEDs used?

AEDs can be used in businesses and community facilities, and they are increasingly found in other public places such as train stations and bus terminals. In fact, it is in these places where they can be the most useful and save the most lives.

Isn’t it only medical professionals who can use AEDs?

AEDs are designed so that they can be used by virtually anyone, especially those that operate automatically.

Do you have to be trained to use an AED?

Many AED machines have been designed so that anyone can use them, but first aid training in how to use AEDs can ensure correct pad placement and improve the time to shock delivery.