WHAT IS AN AED
An AED is programmed to tell rescuers exactly what to do using voice and visual prompts. Rescuers attach adhesive electrode pads to the person's chest. Through these electrodes, the AED is designed to automatically analyze the electrical activity of the heart to determine if a "shockable" rhythm is present. With voice prompts the AED guides rescuers through the resuscitation process, advising when to give a shock if needed. If the AED determines the person's heart needs a shock, it tells rescuers to stay clear so a shock can be safely given by a trained person The delivery of an electrical shock to a heart experiencing cardiac arrest briefly stops all electrical activity in the heart. This brief break from the previous electrical chaos can be enough for the heart to restart with a normal rhythm.
Not everyone can be saved from cardiac arrest, even with defibrillation. But early defibrillation, especially when delivered within three to five minutes of a person's collapse, does provide the best chance for survival.