Having access to an AED and knowing how to use it could save someone's life.

An AED is a portable device used in emergencies when a patient has undergone sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

It can:

  • Check heart rhythm.
  • Deliver electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.

SCA is an abrupt loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness.

What are the causes of sudden cardiac arrest?

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Electrocution
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Heart defect (often undetected)
  • Heart attack
  • Drowning
  • Suffocation
  • Other types of injury
  • Unknown reasons

CPR alone saves 9% of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest. CPR, combined with an AED, increases the chance of survival to 50%.

An AED is most effective within 5 minutes of the person collapsing. Many offices, schools, shopping centres, airports, and public spaces have an AED on hand.

What to do if someone has gone into sudden cardiac arrest?

  • Call ER24's ambulance on 084124.
  • Start with CPR while someone else locates the AED.
  • Move the unconscious person away from wet areas.
  • Remove all clothing covering their chest.
  • Make sure no one (including yourself) is touching the victim.
  • Attach the pads to the victim's chest as described in the AED's instructions.
  • Press the AED's Analyse button. This determines if the victim has a pulse.
  • If a shock is needed, the AED will direct you to press the Shock button. Once pressed, it will deliver a highly effective shock to the heart.
  • If a shock is not indicated, it will instruct you to check the victim's pulse and perform CPR to keep blood circulating until an ambulance arrives.

Watch the AED video below