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What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically analyzes the heart rhythm of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) victim. When properly administered, an AED will detect potentially life threatening arrhythmias and tachycardia.

If defibrillation is necessary, audio and visual commands will instruct the user to press a button to deliver a shock to restore the normal operation of the heart.


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AEDs are designed to be simple for anyone to use and will not deliver a shock if one is not needed.

For a person in cardiac arrest, the chance of survival decreases by 10% for every minute that goes by without defibrillation. The American Heart Association estimates that an additional 50,000 lives in the US could be saved every year if there were widespread availability of AEDs.