AED Procedures

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are life-saving devices that can deliver an electrical shock to a heart that's in a life-threatening rhythm, usually ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Here is a general overview of AED procedures:

1. Assess the Scene:

  • Ensure that the scene is safe for both the rescuer and the victim.

  • Determine that the person is unresponsive, not breathing or not breathing normally.

2. Call for Help:

  • If you're alone, call emergency services immediately.  If you are with others, ask someone else to do so. Always ensure that professional medical assistance is on the way.

3. Begin CPR (If Trained):

  • Start with chest compressions.

  • Provide 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths (this is one cycle).

  • Continue CPR until the AED arrives or the person shows signs of life.

4. Turn on the AED:

  • Most AEDs have voice prompts that will guide you through the process.

5. Expose the Chest:

  • Remove clothing to expose the bare chest.

  • If the chest is wet, dry it. This is crucial to ensure effective conduction and to avoid current diversion.

6. Attach the AED Pads:

  • Adult pads should be placed with one pad to the right of the upper chest just below the collarbone and the other pad to the left side of the chest just below and to the side of the left nipple. The pads should be placed in such a way that they do not touch each other.

  • For children (less than eight years old or weighing less than 55 pounds), use pediatric pads if available. Placement may vary based on the specific AED's guidelines, but one common method is to place one pad in the center of the chest and the other on the back between the shoulder blades.

  • For infants, if only adult pads are available, place one pad on the chest and the other on the back.

7. Let the AED Analyze:

  • Follow the voice prompts and ensure no one is touching the person.

  • The AED will analyze the heart rhythm to determine if a shock is advised.

8. Deliver the Shock (If Advised):

  • Ensure that no one is touching the person.

  • Press the shock button when prompted.

9. Continue CPR:

  • Immediately after delivering the shock, or if no shock is advised, resume CPR, starting with chest compressions.

  • Follow the voice prompts of the AED, which might advise you to continue CPR for a certain duration (usually 2 minutes) before it re-analyzes.

10. Re-assess:

  • Every time the AED completes its cycle and checks for a rhythm, be prepared to either deliver another shock or continue with CPR, as advised.

11. Continue Care:

  • If the person shows signs of life and starts to breathe normally, turn them into the recovery position (on their side) and monitor them until professional help arrives.


  • Familiarize yourself with the AED device available in your location.

  • Always follow the instructions provided by the specific AED device, as there might be minor variations between different models.

  • Formal training in CPR and AED use is highly recommended. Join a certified course by organizations such as the American Heart Association or the Red Cross.

Remember, using an AED combined with effective CPR can significantly increase the chances of survival for someone in cardiac arrest