Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Updated guidance during Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic recommends following these steps to save a life while staying safe: If someone is unconscious and not breathing normally, call 999. Do not put your face close to theirs. Use a towel or a piece of clothing and lay it over the mouth and nose. Do not give rescue breaths but start hands-only CPR. Use a public access defibrillator if there is one available. For more information visit the Resuscitation Council UK. http://www.bhf.org.uk/cpr

An AED is used to administer an electric shock to a person who is having a cardiac arrest. AED's are designed to allow non-medical personnel to save lives. 

AED's can also be referred to as Public Access Defibrillators (PAD) if they are made accessible in a location for public use. 

Using an AED 

AEDs are designed to be used by members of the public who have not received any training.   They provide audible instructions and sometimes visual prompts on a screen. 

The AED will analyse the heart’s electrical rhythm and if it detects a rhythm likely to respond to a shock, it will charge itself ready to deliver a shock. Some devices then deliver the shock automatically without needing any further action by the operator; others instruct the operator to press a button to deliver the shock (these are often referred to as 'semi-automatic' AEDs). After this the AED will tell the rescuer to give the victim CPR. After a fixed period, the AED will tell the rescuers not to touch the victim while it checks the heart rhythm and a further shock is given (if it is needed). 

An AED will not allow a shock to be given unless it is needed, meaning it is extremely unlikely that it will do any harm to the person who has collapsed.