How an AED works

  • Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. It’s an electrical malfunction that creates an abnormal heart rythm that only a shock from an AED can correct;  chest compressions alone won’t work.
  •  If a person suffering cardiac arrest can have an AED placed on them within the first 3 minutes of the cardiac event, their chance of survival will increase by 90%.  Chances decrease 10% every minute thereafter.
  • The average 911 response time is 10-12 minutes. This is why it’s vital to have these devices readily available to avoid possible brain damage upon resuscitation.

AEDs are advanced technology in and of themselves. They have an internal program that is completely automated. The few steps that require human intervention have voice and visual prompting from the device. Rescuers attach the adhesive electrode pads to the victim’s chest so the AED can automatically analyze the electrical activity of the heart and determine if a “shockable” rhythm is present. If the AED determines that the victim’s heart should receive a shock, it tells the rescuer to stand back before the shock is automatically given through the adhesive electrode pads. The electrical shock to a heart experiencing sudden cardiac arrest briefly stops all electrical activity in the heart. This break from the previous electrical chaos can be enough for the heart to restart with a normal rhythm. An AED is easy to use and untrained persons are capable of operating them.

Stuart Sullivan, EMT, explains in the video below what Sudden Cardiac Arrest means and how an Automated External Defibrillator can help save lives.

Every Minute Counts

During sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), chances of survival decrease by 7-10% for every minute the victim goes without defibrillation. When defibrillation with an AED is administered within the first 3 to 5 minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest collapse, an average survival rate of 74% can be achieved. (Statistics from the American Heart Association, in an out-of-hospital settings).


AED Use and probability of survival

Take a look at the video below to see how easy it is to use an AED:

Learn More

It is important to learn more about CPR & AED. Find out more on our special page – click here to Learn More Now!



If you don’t think SCA won’t affect you, your family or community, click the video below.