Understanding AEDs: 3 Key Points

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and in the workplace today, but with basic CPR and AED training you can be ready in the event that someone has Sudden Cardiac Arrest near you.

1.) What are the signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest? 

If someone is having SCA, you may see him or her suddenly collapse and pass out, or you may find the person unconscious and unable to respond when you call or shake them. The person may not be breathing, or they may have an abnormal breathing pattern. The person’s skin may become dark or blue from lack of oxygen. Also, the person may not move, a pulse may not be detected, or his or her movements may resemble a seizure.

2.) How does an AED work? 

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are lightweight, battery-operated, portable devices that are easy to use. Sticky pads with sensors, called electrodes are attached to the chest of the person who is having  sudden cardiac arrest . The electrodes send information regarding the person’s heart rhythm to a computer in the AED. The computer analyzes the heart rhythm to find out whether an electric shock is needed. Many of these devices now offer Real-Time CPR Coaching Feedback as well. If a shock is advised, the AED uses voice prompts to tell you when to give the shock, and the electrodes deliver it.

3.) When do I use an AED?

Using an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a person who is having  sudden cardiac arrest  can save the person’s life. The most common cause of SCA is an  arrhythmia  called ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). In v-fib, the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers) quiver very rapidly and irregularly. An electric shock from an AED can restore the heart’s normal rhythm if done within minutes.


If you are interested in learning more about AEDs, how to maintain an AED properly, and where they should be placed, give us a call at 1-800-695-1209 to speak with one of our knowledgable AED specialists. offers long-term and short-term AED Rentals. We have a weekly AED Giveaway Contest running throughout the year, and everyone is invited to enter. Our mission, our passion, our duty is to forge stronger links into the chain of survival!

Blog By Blaire CzarnieckiWritten by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director

Fact checked by Phillip Woods, BA, NREMT-P, FP-C

Blaire attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service for Coro Medical. Blaire is also an American Red Cross-certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation.

“I know that every day I come to work, I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I am passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”

Last updated September 20, 2018