More and more homes and workplaces are installing an AED in case of a medical emergency. They are a lot easier to use than they ever were, smaller, easier to store and many give verbal instructions on each step to take when you need to use it. These portable devices along with training and a first aid bag are saving more lives than ever. Here is a look at what they do and why you want one!

What is an Automatic External Defibrillator?

A cell AED is a light portable battery-powered device that is made to create and send a charge of joules via pads to the person they are on. The electronic pads are attached to the person’s chest who is thought to have had a sudden cardiac arrest also referred to as SCA. The heart rhythm of the person might have stopped or it might be in either VF (ventricular fibrillation) or VT (ventricular tachycardia). VF is when the person’s heartbeat is beating in an irregular rhythm because the lower heart chambers are contracting in an uncoordinated and rapid way. This means blood is not getting pumped around their body. With VT the heart is beating very quickly which means it is not working effectively and blood is not circulating.

When an AED is used the device shocks the heart and resets it efficiently so that it can start again at a controlled rate. The heart actually has its own natural pacemaker in the form of cells called the AV node. When that gets a charge it can take back control of the heart rate. Generally, the use is also combined with CPR but in cases of VF or VT these are not enough to get that reboot response and the AED is needed.

When a person’s heart enters into a rhythm that threatens their lives it is only a matter of a short time before the heart has that ability to get shocked and resume its usual rhythm. If that time period is missed then their chance of survival is greatly reduced. For every minute that passes without having a cell AED used on that person their chance of survival drops by 10 percent. After 10 minutes there is no chance that defibrillation might work. It is vital therefore that an AED be kept in an easy to get to location, so that when an emergency occurs people can get to it and use it in enough time. It is also a very good idea to have some people take training on using one. Even though it might give instructions and clear directions it is a nerve-racking and stressful experience that you have someone’s life in your hands. Training can help give you the motion and confidence so you can just follow what you have been shown to do.


An AED along with training and a first aid bag are crucial things to have in certain places to help people when they are hurt or in a critical state. At work, at home, in public places like shopping centres, airports and such, these are all places that should have such things.

Author's Bio: 

This Article Penned by Lora Davis.