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What is automated external defibrillator (AED)?

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An automated external defibrillator is a computerized device used to restart a heart that’s stopped beating or is beating too quickly to create a pulse. Defibrillators work by shocking the heart back into action.

Many public places, including airports, casinos, gyms, malls, and sporting venues, have defibrillators on hand for emergencies. In the past, only trained medical professionals were able to use them. But anyone can use today's new automated external defibrillators.

SOURCES:
WebMD Health News: "New CPR Guidelines: Chest Compressions First."

American Heart Association, Circulation, Nov. 28, 2005; online edition.
American Heart Association web site: "AED Programs Q&A" and "The Links in the Chain of Survival."
eMedicine: "Automated External Defibrillators (AED) Treatment."
About.com website: "How to Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)" and "What Is a Defibrillator?"

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 29, 2020

SOURCES:
WebMD Health News: "New CPR Guidelines: Chest Compressions First."

American Heart Association, Circulation, Nov. 28, 2005; online edition.
American Heart Association web site: "AED Programs Q&A" and "The Links in the Chain of Survival."
eMedicine: "Automated External Defibrillators (AED) Treatment."
About.com website: "How to Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)" and "What Is a Defibrillator?"

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 29, 2020

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When should cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) be used, and how effective is it?

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