LAS VEGAS (KLAS)— In light of recent events involving athletes undergoing cardiac arrest, 8 News Now spoke with one local agency to learn more about the life-saving tools used in these incidents.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) essentially works to shock the heart back into rhythm, in the case of cardiac arrest. This can increase someone’s survival rate by 38%.
It is often used in tandem with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The machine actually talks users through the process.
The machine comes with two adhesive pads that attach to the torso. After contacting 911, users are guided through the process by voice commands. And if shocking someone is a concern, it shouldn’t be, as the machine only does so under very specific circumstances.
“The AED is looking for ventricular fibrillation, that’s a shockable rhythm,” Steve Smith with Red Rock Search & Rescue told 8 News Now. “So people say “I’m afraid to use it, I don’t want to accidentally shock somebody, you can’t. It only shocks on v-fib.”
While anyone can use an AED in an emergency situation, it is highly suggested that take a certified training course in order to familiarize themselves with the machine and even learn CPR in the process.
The American Red Cross and American Heart Association offer local CPR certification classes and AED training for anyone looking to sign up.