Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. If it’s not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death.
AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Because AEDs are portable, they can used by nonmedical people. They can be made part of emergency response programs that also include rapid use of 9-1-1 and prompt delivery of cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). All three of these activities are vital to improving survival from cardiac arrest.