What is an Automated External Defibrillator?

Iridia pioneered the first public-access Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program in British Columbia and we have remained passionate about AEDs. Since our start in 1998, we have become a leading distributor of AEDs and have placed AEDs in almost all places imaginable.

What are Automated Defibrillators and why are they so important?

Automated External Defibrillators

An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock to the heart. This shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and restore a normal rhythm. SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

Up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada alone. Without rapid treatment, most of these cardiac arrests will result in death. After more than 12 minutes of an irregular rhythm, the survival rate from cardiac arrest is less than 5%. On average, every 1 minute delay in defibrillation will reduce survival rates by 7% to 10%. However, the combined use of CPR and an AED may increase the rate of survival to 75% or more.

Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

Thankfully the complicated and cumbersome defibrillators of the past are gone. Today, defibrillators used in public places and in the home are automated, portable and easy to use. They are no longer limited to the emergency room. AED advances have made it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required.

How does an AED work?

A built-in computer analyses the victim’s heart rhythm through two electrode pads. The computer then calculates whether defibrillation is needed. If it is, a recorded voice tells the rescuer to administer a shock. This shock stuns the heart and stops all activity and gives the heart a chance to resume beating effectively. Instructions will guide the user through the process.

Who can use an AED?

AEDs are designed to help people with minimal training use them safely in tense, emergency situations. They have numerous built-in safeguards and are designed to deliver a shock only if necessary.

Where should AEDs be placed?

All first-responders, including paramedics, law enforcement, fire rescue personnel should have access to an AED. 

Defib Place Icons

Additionally, AEDs should be placed in public areas such as sports arenas, golf courses, gated communities, airports, office complexes, doctors’ offices and any other public or private place where large numbers of people gather. Learn more about Why You Need Access to a Defibrillator.

If you need Tools to Save Lives, visit us at www.iridiamedical.com and learn about our:

  • industry-leading AED units
  • AED training for lay rescuers and professionals
  • unique medical direction packages
  • provincial leading AED programs