pe abh what is an automated external defibrillator ucm 300340

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1 ANSWERS + Tests Treatments heart by What Is an Automated External Defibrillator? An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially stop an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. If not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death. Most SCAs result from ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is a rapid and unsynchronized heart rhythm that originates in the heart’s lower chambers (the ventricles). The heart must be “defibrillated” quickly, because a victim’s chance of surviving drops by seven to 10 percent for every minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored. user through the process. AEDs advise a shock only Why are AEDs important? for ventricular fibrillation or another life-threatening AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to condition called pulseless ventricular tachycardia. a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Because AEDs are portable, they can be used by Who can use an AED? nonmedical people (lay-rescuers). They can be made part Non-medical personnel such as police, fire service of emergency response programs that also include rapid personnel, flight attendants, security guards and other lay use of 9-1-1 and prompt delivery of cardio pulmonary rescuers who have been trained in CPR can use AEDs. resuscitation (CPR). All three of these activities are vital Although formal training in the use of an AED is not to improving survival from SCA. required, it is recommended to help the rescuer increase How does an AED work? their comfort and level of confidence. However, AEDs A built-in computer checks a victim’s heart rhythm are intended for use by the general public. Most AEDs through adhesive electrodes. The computer calculates use audible voice prompts to guide the user through the whether defibrillation is needed. If it is, a recorded process. voice prompts the rescuer to press the shock button Are AEDs safe to use? on the AED. This shock momentarily stuns the heart AEDs are safe to use by anyone. Some studies have and stops all activity. It gives the heart the chance to shown that 90 percent of the time AEDs are able to resume beating effectively. Audible prompts guide the (continued)

2 ANSWERS + What Is an Automated Treatments Tests heart by External Defibrillator? detect a rhythm that should be defibrillated. This data suggests that AEDs are highly effective in detecting when (or when not) to deliver a shock. Where should AEDs be placed? All first-response vehicles, including ambulances, law- enforcement vehicles and many fire engines should have an AED. AEDs also should be placed in public areas such as sports venues, shopping malls, airports, airplanes, businesses, convention centers, hotels, schools and doctors’ offices. They should also be in any other public or private place where large numbers of people gather or where people at high risk for heart attacks live. They should be placed near elevators, cafeterias, main reception areas, and on walls in main corridors. Where can I get AED training? The American Heart Association offers CPR and AED training through training centers. To locate a training center near you, call your nearest AHA office or . You may also visit heart.org/cpr . 1-888-AHA-4CPR AEDs are typically placed in public areas where large numbers of people gather. Their locations should be clearly marked for quick Type in your ZIP code where requested on the home access. page to access information on training sites near you. Do you have HOW CAN I LEARN MORE? My Que stions: questions for the Call 1-800-AHA-USA1 doctor or nurse? (1-800-242-8721), or visit heart.org Take a few minutes to to learn more about heart disease and write your questions for stroke. the next time you see your healthcare provider. , a free Sign up to get Heart Insight magazine for heart patients and their For example: . families, at heartinsight.org Should I take a CPR Connect with others sharing similar AED training course? journeys with heart disease and stroke Are there dif ferent by joining our Support Network at t ype s of classe s? heart.org/supportnetwork . We have many other fact sheets to help you make healthier choices to reduce your risk, manage disease or care for a loved one. Visit to learn more. heart.org/answersbyheart ©2017, American Heart Association

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