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AED (Automated External Defibrillator)

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What is an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)?

An automated external defibrillator or AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient and can treat them through defibrillation. Defibrillation is the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

AEDs are designed to be simple to use for non-specialists, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, first responder, and basic life support level CPR classes.


Where’s your nearest AED (automated external defibrillator)?

Not every defibrillators location is registered. The location varies in every town, but defibrillators are most common in large public places, such as:

  • Hospitals — In the hospital wings or at the closest nursing station
  • Community Centres — In the foyer
  • Schools — The school office or staff room
  • Business Centres — Ground level next to the evacuation plan
  • Golf, Football, Soccer, Swimming, Hockey and Cricket Clubs — Behind the bar or in function rooms. These locations are often central to the club.
  • Gymnasiums — Hinged and clearly signed on the walls surrounding the gym equipment. Try the wall closest to the treadmills.
  • Shopping Malls/Centres — Central locations such as toilet isles, cinemas, or information desks/centres
  • Public Library’s — In the foyer
  • Zoo’s — front office and staff rooms.

Many of these locations are subject to operating hours. For example, you will only have access to the defibrillator located in the foyer of your public library during the library’s operating hours. This means the closet defibrillator to you will depend on the time of day. If you need access to a defibrillator, think about where you are. If you are not sure, send someone else to retrieve a defibrillator while CPR is immediately administrated.


AED/CPR Course you might be interested in


  • Fact 1: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 300,000 every year.
  • Fact 2: SCA can strike persons of any age, gender, race and health.
  • Fact 3: An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device used to administer an electric shock and restore the heart’s normal rhythm.
  • Fact 4: Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is the abnormal heart rhythm that most often leads to sudden cardiac arrest. It is treatable with an AED.
  • Fact 5:The survival rate for SCA is less than 5%. This is due to limited AED accessibility.
  • Fact 6: If an SCA victim receives defibrillation through an AED within the first minute, the survival rate is 90%.
  • Fact 7: For every minute that passes without defibrillation, survival decreases by 7 – 10%.
  • Fact 8: 30% – 50% of SCA victims would survive if AEDs were used within five minutes.
  • Fact 9: If the AED determines the victim’s heart is in VF, the AED will recommend a defibrillating shock.
  • Fact 10: If a person does not need an AED shock, the AED will not deliver.
  • Fact 11: All AED devices have voice prompts, enabling untrained bystanders to easily administer therapy with an AED.
  • Fact 12: If defibrillation is delayed by more than ten minutes, the survival rate is less than 5%.
  • Fact 13: 20% of police cars carry an AED or defibrillator.
  • Fact 14: SCA occurs most often in the home (57% – 75%), which are often unequipped with an AED.
  • Fact 15: AED electrodes collect information about the heart’s rhythm and deliver the shock for the AED.
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