What You Should Know Before Using An AED

AEDs can be found in public spaces, including airports, supermarkets, shopping malls, corporate buildings, and schools. An AED can be used to deliver an electric shock that races from the AED’s electrode pads through to the heart of a person who is experiencing a cardiac arrest, or a similar condition like arrhythmia.

Automated AEDs come in two forms: fully automated AEDs and semi-automated AEDs. Both are available in public spaces and can be used by anyone in the case of a cardiac arrest. They vary slightly from each other in terms of activation, but the result is exactly the same.

AED Shock Types: Fully v.s. Semi-Automated

A fully automated AED analyses the heart rhythm automatically after attaching the electrode pads, and when a shock is required, it will automatically deliver a shock to the victim’s heart.

A semi-automated AED also analyses the heart rhythm automatically after attaching the pads. The difference is: when a shock is required, the device will prompt the user to ‘push the button’.

How to Position AED Electrode Pads over Chest

In children under the age of 8:

Place one AED pad in the center of their chest, between their breasts, and the second one on their back in the same location. The pads must be placed vertically and not horizontally [1]. The pads will hence be located roughly over the heart, which is essentially in the center of the chest but tilts towards the left side in most people.

In adults or children over the age of 8:

Place the AED box near the victim’s head, then power it on. Place one AED pad on the bear chest on the right side of the chest. There are detailed instructional pictures on the backside of each pad too. Place the second pad on the lower left side of the chest. If the pads are not pre-connected, connect them to the AED [2].

Where to Find An AED in A Public Place

AEDs are typically mounted on walls, but sometimes they can be stored inside closets or within far-off rooms. However, in responsible circumstances, the AED should be present close-by and set safely on a wall using an AED wall bracket.

Almost all major public places are supposed to offer AED support. Schools, offices, supermarkets, airports, subway stations, and charity organizations like old homes and orphanages all should have them. So, if you’re ever out in public and see someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest, search or ask for the nearest AED.

Remember, anyone can use an AED, be it fully automated or semi-automated. Under the United States’ Good Samaritan Laws, a person using an AED on a victim will not be held legally responsible for any damage that occurs during the procedure.


AEDs can save lives if they are used at the right time. When an AED is used in under 1 minute after the cardiac arrest occurs, the chances of survival are 90%. At 5 minutes, this drops to 50%, 30% after 7 minutes, and 10% after 9 to 11 minutes [3]. In conclusion, the sooner an AED shock is delivered, the better.

If you’re looking for reliable AED devices, Mindray is a well-known company that supplies a wide range of medical equipment including AED. Their products are reliable and will not fail you in emergency situations.


[1] AED 101| emssafetyservices.com. Available at: https://www.emssafetyservices.com/how-to/aed-101/ (Accessed: 24 February 2020)

[2] Using An AED. Available at: https://www.emssafetyservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Using-an-AED.pdf  (Accessed: 24 February 2020)

[3] Part 4: The Automated External Defibrillator. (2018). American Heart Association. Available at:  https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circ.102.suppl_1.I-60  (Accessed: 24 February 2020)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.