Life Saving Heart Defibrillators (AEDs)

An automated external defibrillator, or AED, is a portable electronic device that stops the abnormal rhythm by shocking the heart. The device self-determines whether or not to shock so no human decision-making process is needed. Facts and features:

  • Applied externally to the skin surface only
  • Typically lightweight and portable
  • Has 24-hour daily “self-checking” feature
  • Device can be wall-mounted or carried easily
  • Automatic voice prompts for CPR

Easy to Use

Wondering if AEDs are hard to use? They’re not. In fact, they are easy enough for the average sixth grader to use on their own. In a recent study, it took 15 sixth graders an average of 90 seconds to complete defibrillation, compared to the 67 seconds on average for EMTs/paramedics.

As noted from the NIH website, "Learning how to use an AED and taking a CPR course are helpful.  However, if trained personnel aren't available, untrained people also can use an AED to help save someone's life."  We fully agree!!!

Watch this informative Save-a-life simulator and learn what the best actions to take are when a cardiac arrest strikes.

UPDATE: SB658 (CA AED law - Title 22):

Thanks to our very effective coalition of state and county elected officials, EMS/Fire leaders, healthcare providers, and business groups like the Silicon Valley Leadership Foundation, Racing Hearts along with El Camino Hospital pioneered SB658 which was signed by Gov Brown 9/3/15 making it easier and less expensive to install and own AEDs!  The following updates began Jan. 1, 2016: 

  • NO Medical Direction needed.
  • NO CPR/AED certification needed.  
  • Each AED is to now be inspected quarterly.
  • Display how to use an AED next to your device (no less than 14-point type). 
  • Provide a yearly CPR/AED orientation (include information describing Sudden Cardiac Arrest, an emergency response plan, location(s) of all AEDs on site, and the proper use of an AED.   

To see the full text of Title 22 click here

What about Liability or immunity?

Civil Code 1714.21 (d) (1) A person or entity that acquires an AED for emergency use pursuant to this section is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in the rendering of the emergency care by use of an AED if that person or entity has complied with subdivision (b) of Section 1797.196 of the Health and Safety Code (aka Title 22 above). 

Learn More

Data/Information: Save-a-life simulator created by Medtronic, American Heart Association website, siting this research.