Locating an AED Device - In a Heartbeat

Locating an AED Device

There are approximately 350,000 out of hospital cardiac arrest events each year and an overwhelming 90% are fatal.  One key to improving those statistics, is quick intervention through CPR and electric shock delivered through an AED.  

Research shows that the victim’s rate of survival drops by 7-10% for every minute that a defibrillator is not used. Such a crucial piece of equipment should be readily available in an emergency, and yet many people do not know where or how to locate an AED.  

In an effort to close this information gap, groups such as PulsePoint are working to create AED registries.  PulsePoint is an app designed to connect arrest victims with rescuers and AED devices.   It aims to build a comprehensive registry by relying on the public’s help to report and update the locations of AEDs.  PulsePoint and other such groups are providing a priceless service, and yet there is still much work to be done.

Until the public has access to a complete list, just how do you locate an AED?  If you have an AED for public use, just where should you place the device?  The following recommendations can help. 

  • AEDs are often located in cabinets, denoted with a red hear and lightning bolt blaze.  This helps with visibility and also prevents theft.
  • AEDs should be visible for everyone, centrally located and if possible, near trained rescuers.  Out of sight, out of mind!   
  • AEDs should be located in close proximity to a phone for calling 911. 
  • AEDs should be located in high risk areas, where they are more likely to be used. 
  • AEDs should be located so that it takes no longer than 3 mins for a rescuer walking at a brisk pace to reach the device and return to the victim.
  • The location should be clearly marked and publicized.

You can never be fully prepared for an emergency, however proactively identifying AEDs in locations that you frequent (and completing CPR and AED training), can save precious seconds in life and death situations.

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