The Importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) | Texas OnSite CPR

The Importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AED)


Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, check and monitor heart rhythm and can send electric shocks to the heart to help it regain a normal rhythm. AEDs are portable devices that are most commonly used to treat SCA, or sudden cardiac arrest. Most people who experience SCA do not survive, but the presence and use of an AED can save lives. Within the first few minutes after the cardiac arrest takes place, an automated external defibrillator can be used to check the victim’s heart rate, and it will notify the user if an electric shock is needed to help the victim recover his or her normal heart rhythm.

Who Should Have An AED?

 Anyone can purchase an Automated External Defibrillator. Police officers and ambulance crews carry AEDs, and they are becoming more commonly found in other public places. Airplanes, airports, malls, sports arenas, gyms, golf courses, cruise ships, casinos, schools, and office buildings are beginning to keep AEDs around in the case of a random person’s sudden cardiac arrest. If you own or run one of these places of business or another busy, public place, you should consider purchasing an AED to keep on site. Remember that for an AED to be most effective and useful, your entire staff needs training in its use, and you must maintain it properly to ensure its effectiveness.

More and more people are also purchasing automated external defibrillators for in-home use. If you have an elderly person living in your home or if someone in your home has known heart arrhythmia, having an AED close by could be the difference in life and death.

Who Can Operate an AED?

Technically, anyone can operate an AED. Most of them have very easy to follow instructions and several of them literally talk you through the steps as you use them. Many people are worried about using automated external defibrillators because they are scared of what might happen and the fact that electric shocks are used worries them. The easiest way to combat these fears and concerns is to receive training in the use of an AED. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever have the need for those skills, you could be responsible for saving someone’s life just by having the training and confidence needed to operate an automated external defibrillator.

If you are considering purchasing an AED for your business or home, you should absolutely require employees, family members, and other people who are often around to receive training in the use of an AED.

What Other Types of Training Should Accompany AED Training?

Receiving training in the use and maintenance of an automated external defibrillator can save lives. However, you will be more effective as a helper and potential lifesaver if you have more thorough training beyond using an AED. CPR training and first aid training will help you, your family, or your employees be as useful and helpful as possible in keeping someone alive and well until professional help arrives. You should always call 911 in an emergency, but the assistance of a trained first responder has saved many lives and absolutely cannot be underestimated.