Environmental Health & Safety

A Department in Facilities

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are portable electronic devices designed to assess the heart’s rhythm and, if needed, automatically recommends whether an electric shock should be delivered to correct the heart rhythm. These devices allow trained personnel to provide life-saving defibrillation to victims of cardiac arrest (cessation of a heartbeat, usually due to a heart attack). The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) recommends placement, when practical, of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in sufficient workplace locations to allow initiation of resuscitation and use of the AED (the so-called “drop to shock” interval) within 3-5 minutes of recognized cardiac arrest. Access to an AED within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest can increase the survival rate by as much as 70% with a 10% decrease in the rate of survival for every minute that treatment is delayed.