Evidence identifies that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can make a difference between life or death in the event of a cardiac arrest. AEDs are commonplace in most public leisure facilities and in a lot of sports clubs. An AED is a sophisticated, reliable, safe, computerised device that delivers electric shocks to a casualty in cardiac arrest when the ECG rhythm is one that is likely to respond to a shock.

AEDs are very easy to use. You turn on the device (some devices turn on automatically when the lid is opened), and there are clear and concise ‘voice prompts’ advising you exactly what to every step of the way (both CPR and defibrillation). It is impossible to shock someone that does not require it, as the device only shocks if the person is in fibrillation. In an emergency you do not have to be trained to use an AED. However, it is useful to be trained in first aid.

The minutes saved are crucial and this device has been responsible for saving many lives. Research shows that for every minute that the first shock is delayed, the chances of the patient’s survival diminishes by 10%.

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