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AED Notice and AED Location

What Is an Automated External Defibrillator?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival. Using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save the person’s life.

When Should an Automated External Defibrillator Be Used?
Using an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a person who is having sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can save the person’s life.

The most common cause of SCA is an arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). In v-fib, the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers) don’t beat normally. Instead, they quiver very rapidly and irregularly.

Another arrhythmia that can lead to SCA is ventricular tachycardia. This is a fast, regular beating of the ventricles that may last for a few seconds or much longer.

In people who have either of these arrhythmias, an electric shock from an AED can restore the heart’s normal rhythm (if done within minutes of the onset of SCA).

How To Use an Automated External Defibrillator
Before using an automated external defibrillator (AED) on someone who you think is having sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), check him or her.

If you see a person suddenly collapse and pass out, or if you find a person already unconscious, confirm that the person can’t respond. Shout at and shake the person to make sure he or she isn’t sleeping.

Never shake an infant or young child. Instead, you can pinch the child to try to wake him or her up.

Call 1–1–9 or have someone else call 1–1–9. If two rescuers are present, one can provide CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while the other calls 1–1–9 and gets the AED.

Check the person’s breathing and pulse. If breathing and pulse are absent or irregular, prepare to use the AED as soon as possible. (SCA causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.)

If no one knows how long the person has been unconscious, or if an AED isn’t readily available, do 2 minutes of CPR. Then use the AED (if you have one) to check the person.

After you use the AED, or if you don’t have an AED, give CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Try to limit pauses in CPR.

After 2 minutes of CPR, you can use the AED again to check the person’s heart rhythm and give another shock, if needed. If a shock isn’t needed, continue CPR.