Welcome to your one stop shop for answers to all the frequently asked questions about AEDs.
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Q: What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
A: Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. When SCA happens, the person collapses and doesn’t respond or breathe normally. They may gasp or shake as if having a seizure. SCA leads to death in minutes if the person does not get help right away.
Q: Are Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attacks the same?
A: SCA is different from a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die. During a heart attack, the victim's heart is still beating. They are still conscious and breathing.
Q: Am I at risk for Sudden Cardiac arrest? Can I get Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
A: It is important to understand that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, with no warning signs. While age, health, and genetics can be risk factors, they are not necessary for someone to experience SCA. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, "cardiac arrest remains a public health crisis. There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) annually in the U.S., nearly 90% of them fatal. The incidence of EMS-assessed non-traumatic OHCA in people of any age is estimated to be 356,461, or nearly 1,000 people each day." If this doesn't alarm you, it should. SCA is a public health risk to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Q: What is an AED?
A: Automated External Defibrillators (AED's) work by delivering a shock to a victim's heart in an attempt to "restart" it and get it back into a normal rhythm. When the pads are placed on a victim's chest, the AED begins to analyze the heart rhythm. If the heart is in Ventricular Tachycardia (V-Tach) or Ventricular Fibrillation (V-Fib), the AED will charge its capacitors and deliver a shock. This shock stops the heart altogether, giving it the ability to start again with a regular rhythm.
Q: Are AEDs complicated? Can anyone use an AED?
A: Anyone capable of following instructions is capable of using an AED. Upon opening, it will provide detailed instructions for its use. They are designed to be as easy to use as possible.
Q: How common are AEDs?
A: AEDs are everywhere in public. Next time you're in a mall, theatre, casino, or park, keep an eye out for AED cabinets on the wall. Businesses and government agencies realize the importance of AED presence, and usually keep them deployed in public areas.
Q: Why do I need an AED?
A: The second you leave a public space, where AEDs likely are, you immediately put yourself at risk. In fact, up to 73.9% of cardiac arrests occur in the home. That means if you were to have a cardiac arrest, three out of four times it would be where an AED is not present (assuming you don't have one). You, and you alone, have the power to change that. You have the power to put a lifesaving device in your place of residence, business, church, or anywhere else you may want one. You have the power to save a life, and all it takes is the purchase and deployment of an AED.
Q: Are AEDs safe?
A: The FDA has found all AEDs available in the U.S. market to be safe and effective. The AED scans the victim's heart rhythm and will not advise a shock unless it will be beneficial. As long as the AEDs voice prompts are followed, bystanders cannot get shocked. AED's have been used for decades and are extremely safe and effective. According to just one study, "Cardiac arrest victims who received a shock from a publicly-available AED that was administered by a bystander had 2.62 times higher odds of survival to hospital discharge and 2.73 times more favorable outcomes for functioning compared to victims who first received an AED shock after emergency responders arrived."
Q: Where should AED pads be placed?
A: Generally, The pads are placed on an exposed chest in an anterior-lateral position: one pad slightly below the collar bone on the persons right chest and one pad on the person's left side below the arm pit. However, it is important to follow the diagram on the pads of your specific AED.
Q: How often should AED batteries be replaced?
A: AED batteries typically last anywhere from two to five years in standby mode. If you need help figuring out if your battery is expired, or how long it will last, feel free to contact us at 888.522.5574
Q: Can AED batteries be replaced? Can AED pads be replaced?
A: Yes! When your AED pads or battery expires, you can always purchase a replacement. Here is our full library of replacement pads and batteries available for purchase.
Q: What type of battery does an AED use?
A: Most AEDs use lithium batteries. Lithium batteries typically have a longer lifespan; however, they are non-rechargeable.
Q: What happens before sudden cardiac arrest?
A: NOTHING! Sudden Cardiac Arrests happen without warning!
Q: What are 3 signs the person may be in cardiac arrest?
A: Signs of sudden cardiac arrest include unconsciousness, no breathing, and rapid or no pulse.