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An AED is a device that has the potential to save many thousands of lives - in fact they do every year. This is because AEDs are essential for treating Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) when it happens outside of a hospital setting. Since hundreds of thousands of SCA cases happen outside the hospital, AEDs are truly life-saving and life-changing. 

As AED experts, there are dozens of things we’d love to tell you about these devices, but we’ve narrowed it down to 5 things to know about AEDs. Since many people are starting with no knowledge of these devices, we’ve chosen these “5 things to know about AEDs” so that even those who know nothing about them, will finish this article with a good introduction. 

  1. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. If we look at each of those words, it will help explain what an AED is. When we say an AED is “automated,” that means it does all the hard work by itself. You do not need to be a medical professional to use one. You also do not need to know what’s specifically wrong with the person who may need one for a rescue, and you don’t need any special understanding of how the heart works. “External” means the device stays outside the body (in contrast, some people have a defibrillator implanted inside their body). This means an AED can potentially be used at any time, for anyone, without them having an implant and without any incisions. Finally, “defibrillator” means a machine that shocks the heart back into a regular rhythm, which is needed for someone who has a dangerous, irregular heart rhythm. 
  2. AEDs are easy to use with no medical background. This is probably one of the most important things to know about AEDs because the machines can sound intimidating. Yes, it’s important to learn how to use an AED, but many training courses are available. Once trained, anyone should be able to use an AED although some AEDs are easier to use than others. A top priority when choosing an AED should be one that provides the right amount of clear guidance to the user. With JoltzAED by Rithem Life Sciences, you gain confidence when using an AED, along with its lightweight portability, and innovative technology. 
  3. AEDs are truly life-saving. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) has a mortality rate of 90 - 95%. When treated outside the hospital, someone having SCA needs CPR and an AED. According to the Red Cross, “the average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes, and for each minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by approximately 10%, having access to an AED and knowing how to use one, is critical.” 
  4. AEDs cannot accidentally shock someone. The important part about an AED being automated is that it detects the heart rhythm of the person it’s placed on. IF it detects an abnormal heart rhythm that could be helped with a shock, it will deliver one. IF it detects a normal heart rhythm, or one that cannot be helped with a shock, then it will not deliver any electrical currents. While anything with the capacity to give someone an electric shock can seem intimidating, the best AEDs make this process a lot easier than it sounds. 
  5. Many, but not all, heart rhythm problems are addressed with an AED. Despite what you see in movies, it is not possible to shock a heart back into a healthy rhythm when someone has a flat line on a heart monitor. This flat line is called asystole, and medical professionals know this is not treatable with a shock. Instead, an AED is for correcting an abnormal heart rhythm. There are many types of abnormal heart rhythms and learning each one is almost unmanageable by a non-medical person. The good news is that with an AED, you do not need to understand any of the clinical details about heart rhythms, and you do not need to identify what heart rhythm a person has. The right AED does all the work for you. 

AEDs are one of the most important medical innovations when we look at the ability to save lives outside of the hospital setting. Every public setting, airplane, school, workplace, and even home can be made safer with the right AED. With JoltzAED, by Rithem Life Sciences, we’re determined to increase the availability of having an AED in each of these settings, while providing confidence under pressure. Stay connected at Rithemls.com for more updates around JoltzAED. 


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