What is an AED unit?

What is an AED unit?


This article will cover exactly what an AED unit is, and why they are so important in today's society.

What is an AED unit?

The term AED is short for Automated External Defibrillator. In the past, Automated Defibrillators were limited strictly to police officers and any personal working in the first response field. However, AED’s have exploded into the lime light when they were granted access to the public in the mid to late 1990’s. In May of 2003 the state of New York was the first to make AED units mandatory in public schools, and shortly after AED units were given the green light for home use and overall consumer sale.

The Automated External Defibrillator is a battery operated portable electronic device capable of re-starting the human heart. There are several manufacturers of AED units out in the market place today that all pretty much follow the same design – small, lightweight, and extremely uncomplicated to use. There is an extraordinary amount of information regarding AED units, in this particular article I will be covering the basics to give you a good overall picture of what an Automated External Defibrillator is.

How Does the Automated External Defibrillator Work?

Before we get into how the AED unit is used, lets touch base on exactly what it is designed to treat – sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is a term used to describe a situation in which the circulation of blood flow is halted due to a failure of the heart to beat (contract) normally. With a person’s blood no-longer flowing throughout the body, oxygen is not properly delivered to the brain which results in a loss of consciousness. The time frame to treat a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest is between 2 – 5 minutes before permanent brain damage is done, or the patient dies. The automated external defibrillator allows any untrained person to save someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

The automated external defibrillator delivers a large electrical shock through special adhesive paddles placed atop a patients chest in order to jump-start a persons heart. AED units are designed to be extremely user friendly and almost all together hands off after the initial set up. Once the AED kit is opened, you will either be shown via a small LCD screen or voice prompted on how to properly set the unit up and place the electrodes (pads). Once the electrodes are attached to the patients chest, a small built-in computer will analyze the current electrical out-put from the patients heart and determine when and if a shock is needed. Once the AED unit gives the green light for an electrical shock, then it will prompt its operator to either press a button or to simply step back as the unit proceeds to deliver a high voltage shock.

I hope that this has shed a but of light on the purpose of AED units and why they are becoming more and more of an importance in public places. Just remember, an automated external defibrillator is worthless without a good Automated External Defibrillator battery in it!