I took the refresher course for the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver CPR & AED course recently. Once again, I was impressed with the design of AEDs.
Wikipedia describes an AED as
An automated external defibrillator or AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.
While they may be used by EMTs with a lot of training, they’re also used by people who happen to come across a person in distress. You can imagine how anxious such a user is, so the devices must be really easy to use.
And they are. Once you open the device and turn it on, it tells you what to do, step by step.
Here’s a video I found on YouTube that shows a typical one. (The demo starts at 00:1:00 into the video.)
You might be trained on one brand of device and have to use a different brand if you come across an emergency in a store or public library. I don’t think it matters, because they walk you through the process, showing and saying what to do at each step.
I’m not sure why they’re all so well-designed. Maybe one company figured it out and the others copied, or maybe the Red Cross or Heart Association made suggestions to all of the manufacturers.
Have you taken AED training? Have you ever used one in real life? How did it work?