Learn About Automated External Defibrillators

The American Red Cross supports the position that improved training and access to AEDs could save 50,000 lives each year. The Red Cross believes that all Americans should be within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.

The Facts

Teacher running in school hallway with an AED to help a man down

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Over 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year . It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and at any age. An AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.

Time is of the essence:

  • The average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes.
  • For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced approximately 10%.

Making a Difference

Girls holding an AED device at a pool
  • Boston Celtics’ strength and conditioning coach, Bryan Doo, used an AED to save Chuck Conley’s life at Newton’s Hyde Community Center. The AED was placed in the gym by a local doctor after a friend of his died in the same gym during a game.
  • Five students saved a teacher’s life at the Noble Activity Center Pool, using an AED. “We hooked him up to the AED, and it administered a shock. His color started coming back, and he started breathing. Without that AED, we would have lost him.”


AED machine
The 2010 consensus on science for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) agrees that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be treated most effectively by a combination of CPR and Defibrillation.
  • What is an AED?

    AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator.

    It is a medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm.

    If necessary, it delivers an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, which helps the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

  • Liability protection for rescuers and providers of AEDs:

    Federal Cardiac Arrest Survival Act (2000)

    All 50 U.S. states and DC have specific AED laws and regulations limiting liability

AED Options

Philips logo
  • FRx biphasic waveform is highly effective yet minimizes harmful side effects
  • The FRx defibrillation therapy is backed by over 40 published, peer-reviewed studies
  • The FRx AED offers CPR Coaching for use on adults and children
  • SMART Pads II enable to FRx to keep pace with responders by adjusting to their actions
  • With patented Quick Shock, the FRx is among the fastest in class at delivering a shock after CPR (typically in 8 seconds)
  • Pads integrity test specifically tests readiness-for-use of pads
  • Insertion of the Infant/Child Key signals treatment of an infant or child, allowing you to use one pads set
Physio-Control logo


  • Every product developed and sold is clinically validated and backed by science
  • Ability to escalate energy up to industry-leading 360 Joules for difficult-to-defibrillate patients
  • SafeGuard™ Battery System for redundant power supply
  • Easy-to-position electrode pads
  • ClearVoice™ audio prompts give calm, clear guidance
  • More EMS units around the world use LIFEPAK equipment than any other brand, LIFEPAK AEDS offer simple transition to EMS teams when the need arises
  • One of the industry’s longest warranties at 8 years
  • American-owned, American-made

HeartSine® Branded AEDs

  • Industry leading IP56 rating
  • Escalating, low-energy waveform technology automatically adjusts for differences in patient impedance
  • Innovative Pad-Pak, an integrated battery and electrode cartridge which offers one maintenance change every four years
  • Designed specifically for the lay responder
  • CPR Rate Advisor™ provides real-time verbal and visual feedback to increase effectiveness
  • Easy-to-operate system in the smallest and lightest package available
  • One of the industry’s longest warranties at 8 years
  • American-owned
Zoll logo
  • The AED Plus is the only AED with Real CPR Help® technology, providing real-time feedback for both depth and rate of chest compressions during CPR
  • Once installed, the AED Plus has the lowest total cost of ownership
  • The AED Plus is powered by 10 lithium batteries that can be purchased at any retail camera store
  • The AED Plus has the best Ingress Protection rating for both water and dust, protecting it in any environment

The Red Cross Value

Red Cross instructor teaching man to use an AED
  • Variety of options – 4 vendors and 11 models
  • AED training and re-training programs
  • AED program implementation at your facility, including site analysis
  • Facilitation of purchase of units, accessories, and service and maintenance plans
  • Working with the Red Cross also supports services in our community
  • Latest Science
  • Aligned with Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) Guidelines
  • Meets OSHA Guidelines
  • Approved by the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council
  • Extendable with add-on modules or training (Bloodborne Pathogens, Asthma Inhalers, and more)

First Aid/CPR/AED Training

  • Two-year certification with free digital refreshers
  • Free digital or affordable print materials
  • Emphasis on hands-on skills
  • Flexible training options (classroom/blended/train-the-trainer)
  • Superior instructor resources