Understanding the Role of an AED

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are portable medical devices designed to analyze and treat individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). With their ability to deliver a potentially life-saving electric shock, AEDs play a crucial role in increasing the chances of survival during cardiac emergencies. In this blog post, we will delve into the functions and significance of AEDs, with a focus on the resources and training provided by MyCPR NOW.

What is an AED?

An AED is a portable electronic device that delivers an electric shock to the heart in an attempt to restore its normal rhythm. It is designed to be used by both trained professionals and laypeople in emergency situations. AEDs are equipped with built-in computer systems that analyze the heart's electrical activity and determine whether a shock is necessary.

How Does an AED Work?

An AED operates through a series of steps to assess the individual's cardiac rhythm and deliver an appropriate shock if needed. Here is a breakdown of the typical process:

Step 1: Turn on the AED:
When an AED is turned on, it provides clear and concise voice prompts or visual instructions to guide the user through the process. The device typically includes visual indicators, buttons, and a display screen for easy operation.

Step 2: Attach the Electrode Pads:
The user must place the adhesive electrode pads on the individual's bare chest as directed by the AED. The pads are strategically positioned to ensure optimal contact with the skin. One pad is placed on the upper right side of the chest, just below the collarbone, and the other pad on the left side of the chest, below the nipple.

Step 3: Analyze the Heart's Rhythm:
Once the electrode pads are properly attached, the AED's built-in computer system analyzes the individual's heart rhythm. The device examines the electrical activity of the heart to determine whether a shockable rhythm, such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, is present.

Step 4: Clear the Individual:
During the rhythm analysis, it is crucial to ensure that no one is in contact with the individual, including the rescuers, to prevent interference with the shock delivery.

Step 5: Deliver the Electric Shock:
If the AED detects a shockable rhythm, it prompts the user to stand clear and delivers an electric shock through the electrode pads. The shock is designed to momentarily stop the heart's abnormal electrical activity and allow the heart's natural pacemaker to resume control, potentially restoring a normal heartbeat.

Step 6: Resume CPR:
Following the shock delivery, the AED prompts the user to resume CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) with a focus on high-quality chest compressions. CPR helps circulate oxygenated blood to the vital organs until professional medical help arrives.

Step 7: Follow Subsequent Prompts:
Throughout the process, the AED provides voice prompts or visual instructions to guide the user in performing CPR and prompts for subsequent rhythm analysis or shock delivery as needed.

Why is an AED Important?

AEDs are essential in increasing survival rates during sudden cardiac arrest incidents. Here are some key reasons why AEDs are important:

1. Prompt Defibrillation:
During SCA, prompt defibrillation is critical. AEDs allow for immediate access to defibrillation, increasing the chances of restoring a normal heart rhythm before emergency medical services arrive.

2. Simplicity and User-Friendliness:
AEDs are designed to be user-friendly, with clear voice prompts and visual instructions that guide both trained professionals and laypeople through the process. This accessibility ensures that individuals without extensive medical training can confidently use an

AED during emergencies.

3. Time-Sensitive Intervention:
SCA is a time-sensitive condition, and every second counts. AEDs provide an immediate response, reducing the time between the onset of cardiac arrest and the delivery of a potentially life-saving shock.

4. Increased Public Access:
AEDs are increasingly accessible in public spaces, workplaces, schools, and other locations. Their widespread availability means that more individuals have the opportunity to receive timely defibrillation in the event of SCA.

Training with MyCPR NOW:

To effectively use an AED, it is crucial to receive proper training. MyCPR NOW offers comprehensive AED training programs as part of their CPR certification courses. Here's why training with MyCPR NOW is advantageous:

2. Detailed Instructional Materials:
MyCPR NOW offers detailed instructional videos, online resources, and interactive modules that cover AED usage comprehensively. These resources enhance understanding and facilitate the development of practical skills.

3. Simulation and Practice Scenarios:
MyCPR NOW incorporates simulation and practice scenarios into their training, allowing learners to gain hands-on experience in using an AED. Practice scenarios simulate real-life situations, enabling learners to build confidence and proficiency.

4. Expert Instructors:
MyCPR NOW's instructors are highly trained and experienced in AED usage. They provide expert guidance, answer questions, and ensure that learners are well-prepared to respond effectively in emergency situations.


AEDs are vital devices that can significantly impact survival rates during sudden cardiac arrest incidents. With their user-friendly design and prompt delivery of electric shocks, AEDs help restore normal heart rhythms, providing a crucial bridge to professional medical intervention. MyCPR NOW's comprehensive training programs equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to effectively use an AED, increasing the chances of successful resuscitation. By training with MyCPR NOW, individuals can play an active role in saving lives and creating safer environments where AEDs are readily available.


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