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What is an AED?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is used to help someone who is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. During a cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat.

To help restore an effective heart rhythm, a shock from an AED is needed. If someone suffers from cardiac arrest, immediately dial 911 and begin CPR. If an AED is available, use it.

Anyone can use an AED, simply follow the verbal commands that begin when the unit is turned on. Once you plug in the pads, place them on the patient's chest in the locations shown. Then, listen to the machine for the next direction. It will tell you when to perform CPR and when to remove your hands from the body to administer a shock.

If an AED is not available, perform CPR until emergency medical assistance arrives. While doing CPR, strive for 100 compressions per minute, roughly two inches deep on an adult. Chest compressions allow the blood to continue to circulate before a shock can be administered.

When a medical emergency occurs, immediately dial 911 so that dispatch can assist you.

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