An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable medical device that is used to diagnose and treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating due to an electrical malfunction, and it is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate treatment. AEDs are designed to be used by non-medical personnel such as bystanders, first responders, and trained laypeople to provide rapid intervention in case of a cardiac emergency.
AEDs work by analyzing the heart’s rhythm and delivering an electrical shock, if necessary, to restore the normal heart rhythm. The device is equipped with adhesive electrode pads that are placed on the chest of the person experiencing SCA. The AED then evaluates the heart’s rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. If a shock is required, the AED will instruct the user to deliver the shock by pressing a button. The shock delivered by the AED can help the heart return to its normal rhythm and increase the chances of survival.
AEDs are becoming increasingly common in public places such as airports, shopping malls, and sports stadiums. They are also used by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and some police and fire departments carry them in their vehicles. The use of AEDs in combination with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been shown to significantly increase the chances of survival for people experiencing SCA.