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AEDs provide extremely accurate results and even remind users to call 911 and perform CPR with audio and visual cues. They are typically found in public areas where large numbers of people congregate, such as office buildings, schools, sports stadiums, shopping malls, and airports. Recent advancements in technology have made AEDs easier to use than ever before, so almost anyone can learn to operate one safely with a little bit of training.
When an AED Defib Is Used
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical activity is disrupted and the heartbeat becomes irregular and chaotic. When the heartbeat becomes irregular, the heart stops beating and pumping blood effectively. As a result, blood flow to the brain, heart, and other vital organs is disrupted. If this continues for more than a few minutes, permanent disability or death can occur. Abnormal heart rhythms can be instantly treated with an AED defib, which delivers a shock of electricity to the heart to reset the heart’s electrical system.
Sudden cardiac arrest is often fatal, no matter how early CPR is performed, because it is caused by irregular heart rhythms, which must be corrected as soon as possible in order for a victim to survive. AEDs allow trained bystanders to analyze a victim’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock if necessary to re-establish a normal heart rhythm. The sooner an AED is used, the better, because a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s survival rate is reduced by 7 to 10 percent with each minute that passes.
Benefits of Early Defibrillation
The timing of AED use is critical because the chance of survival drops every minute that CPR and AED use are delayed. Using an AED defib “buys the time” needed for emergency medical help to arrive and provide advanced care. Attempts at resuscitation are usually unsuccessful unless CPR and defibrillation are performed within minutes of a victim’s collapse.
With CPR alone, a victim only has a 1 to 5 percent chance of survival. When an AED defib is used in conjunction with CPR within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it can increase a victim’s chance of survival by as much as 49%. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 20,000 to 100,000 deaths per year could be prevented if AEDs were readily available.