Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 2 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Automated external defibrillators

An overview of AEDs
Green background with white heart and cross symbols
© University of Glasgow, 2017

AEDs are gaining increasing public awareness through a number of high profile cases where they have saved lives (see links below). But what are they, where would you find them and how are they used?

What is an AED?

• An electrical device that aims to restart a stopped heart

• It works by delivering a shock to the casualty

Where can I find an AED?

o Certain shops e.g. pharmacies

o Shopping centres

o Train stations

o Airports

• If you need an AED, make sure to ask!

How do I use an AED?

• You do not need any prior experience to operate an AED

• AED’s guide the user through each step via visual and/or audible prompts

• Each AED has two shock pads: these must be placed on the chest at the areas shown on them

• Make sure to STAND WELL AWAY from the casualty when shocking them

In the subsequent video you will see CPR and an AED in action!

© University of Glasgow, 2017
This article is from the free online

Basic First Aid: How to Be an Everyday Hero

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now