AED & PAD – What Is The Difference?

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In this blog post we will discuss the differences between an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) and a PAD (Publicly Accessible Defibrillator).

What is a AED?

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyse the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm following sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. If the patient is not treated within minutes, it can quickly lead to death.

AEDs make it much easier for more people to respond to a medical emergency where the patient requires defibrillation. AEDs are portable and they can be used by people who are not medically trained (lay rescuers).

How does an AED work?

A computer built into the AED checks the patient’s heart rhythm through adhesive electrodes. The computer calculates whether the patient requires defibrillation. If they do require defibrillation, a recorded voice prompts the user to press the shock button on the AED. This shock will momentarily stun the heart and stops all activity. It gives the heart a chance to resume beating effectively. Audible voice commands will guide the user through the process.

Who can use an AED?

Although formal training in the use of an AED is not required, it is highly recommended to help the rescuer increased their skills and confidence. However, AED’s are intended for use by the general public. Most modern AED’s use audible voice commands to guide the user through the process.

first aid wirralWhat is a PAD?

A publicly accessible defibrillator is an AED that is placed in a prominent public place within a community. They are for a member of the public to use in an emergency when someone suffers from sudden cardiac arrest. PADs are commonly stored in a green or white case with a flashing green light which indicates that they are ready to use.

PADs also should be placed in public places such as sports venues, shopping centres, airports, aeroplanes, businesses, convention centres, hotels and schools. They should also be in any other public or private place where large numbers of people gather or where people at high risk of heart attacks live. They should be installed near reception areas, near elevators and on walls in main corridors.

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