Have you heard of an AED? If not, it is definitely something you should learn more about – it just may save the life of someone you know. AED stands for automated external defibrillator. This portable, light-weight device is a life saver. It can help prevent death due to sudden cardiac arrest.

When someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating unexpectedly. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. Sudden cardiac arrest usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. Every minute that passes leads to an almost ten percent reduction in the chances for survival. There’s no time to rush someone to the hospital or even call 911 and wait for an ambulance.

Sudden cardiac arrest can strike at any time – adults, children with congenital heart defects, anyone could fall victim to this deadly cardiac event. That’s why it is vital to have an AED in all workplaces, office buildings, shopping centers, restaurants, churches, and other public facilities. It is also a good idea to have one in homes with older adults. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that an AED be within three minutes of a cardiac arrest patient; large office buildings, shopping centers, or public facilities should have multiple AEDs on site. Having an AED is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

AEDs can be used by people to help save the lives of people who are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. A defibrillator sends an electric shock to the heart in an attempt to restore its normal rhythm. An AED is a portable defibrillator, which can be used in many locations, including the workplace and the home. The electrodes in the AED transmit information about the heart’s rhythm and output. This information is then analyzed to determine if an electrical shock is needed.

Though it may sound as if some medical experience is needed to operate one of these machines, this is not the case. Though a little experience with the machine is best before use, it can be used successfully by people with minimal or no experience.

There are many reputable AED manufacturers, including Zoll, Philips, Heartsine, Physio Control, and Defibtech. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved various models for use, and they are designed for easy use during sudden cardiac emergencies. Any individual or organization can purchase an FDA-approved automated external defibrillator. AEDs are highly portable, reasonably-priced, and worth every single cent when they save the life of a friend, family member, or co-worker. An AED is a small device with big power to save lives.

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