What are AEDs?

Life saving devices are closer than you think.

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Automated external defibrillators, more known as AEDs, are devices that can really make the difference between life and death.

A heart attack victim’s chances of survival decrease 7 to 10% for every minute a heart beat is not restored.

When someone is experiencing ventricular fibrillation, or rapid, unsynchronized beating of the heart, AEDs make it possible to respond by delivering an electric shock to the victim, to stop and restore the heartbeat.

The way the AED works is that they have adhesive pads that stick to the victim’s chest, and the computer calculates whether defibrillation is needed. If it is needed, the machine tells the user to press the shock button, administering a shock and temporarily stopping the heart to make it beat on tempo again.

This feature is a game changer because if a shock were to be administered when it wasn’t needed, it could kill the victim, and if a shock isn’t administered when needed, it could also kill the victim. This machine takes out that variable.

Here in Medina High School, we have seven AEDs that were purchased with general fund dollars.

There is one outside each house, green and white upstairs and downstairs, one outside the gym, one outside the Performing Arts Center, and one in the cafeteria.

CPR and AED training is not required for most teachers, but physical education teachers, health teachers, principals and coaches are required to be trained.

If one is interested in AED and CPR training, the American Heart Association offers many classes in various places. You can go to their website, www.heart.org/cpr, to find a training center near you.