What is an AED?2017-09-22T10:37:30+00:00

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a battery-operated light, portable device (slighlty smaller than a shoe box) that analysis the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. The most common cause of SCA’s are myocardial infarctions or “heart attacks” as these are more commonly known.

How do AED’s work?2017-09-22T10:37:54+00:00

Sticky pads with sensors (called electrodes) are attached to the chest of the person who is having sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and being resuscitated using CPR. The electrodes send information about the person’s heart rhythm to a processor in the AED. The processor analyzes the heart rhythm to find out whether an electric shock is needed or not. If an electric shock is needed, an AED is able to charge itself with a push of a button and also deliver a shock to the victim, trying to return the heart to a normal rhythm.

How affective are AED’s?2017-09-22T10:38:16+00:00

AED’s are extremely effective and have been proven to save lives. Depending on which statistics you read and whether the person receiving treatment is in a hospital or not, CPR is only 2%-18% effective. AEDs, by contrast, increase survival rates for victims of sudden cardiac arrest by more than 80% if the person receives treatment within the first three minutes.

Perhaps this is because ventricular fibrillation, a particularly deadly form of heart arrhythmia, is at the root of almost 90% of instances of cardiac arrests in adults. The only way to halt ventricular fibrillation is by using a defibrillator.

Where can AED’s be found?2017-09-22T10:38:37+00:00

AED’s can be found in public places such as certain hotels, shopping mall, gyms, sports stadiums, casinos and airports. In South Africa there is a push to make AED’s more readily available in public places as to meet international safety standards. It’s important to familarise yourself with the public places you visit and find out if there are AED’s available.

You can also order AED’s through METS. Click here to find out more about purchasing AED’s.

Can anyone learn how to use an AED?2017-09-22T10:38:58+00:00

Absolutely yes! AED’s are simple to use once you have received the proper training. They were designed for laypeople to use in the event of Medical Emergencies. Once the machine is turned on, all you need to do is follow the audible voice prompts from the machine which will be easy after being trained. It is in the best interests of yourself, your loved ones and your community to receive high quality skills training on CPR and how to use an AED. These skills could save a life

Medical Emergency Training and Services (METS) offers multiple courses with training on CPR and how to use an AED. These courses are designed by the American Heart Association (AHA) or the Resuscitation Council of South Africa (RSCA). The AHA courses offered are internationally recognised and upon completion of your course you will receive a certificate that will be registered with the AHA. METS instructors are registered and certified with both the American Heart Association and the Resuscitation Council of South Africa.

Register for a METS course today and learn how to use an AED!


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