Automated external defibrillator

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation (VF) and pulseless ventricular tachycardia,[1] and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electricity which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Automated external defibrillator
An opened and charged AED. This model is semi-automatic, due to the presence of a manual shock button.
Synonymsdefibrillator, defib
Inventor(s)Frank Pantridge
Related itemsManual defibrillator

With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, certified first responder, and basic life support (BLS) level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes.[2]

The portable version of the defibrillator was invented in the mid-1960s by Frank Pantridge in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the first automatic, public use, defibrillator was produced by the Cardiac Resussitation Company in the late-1970s. The unit was launched under the name Heart-Aid.[3]