What Are Defibrillator Pads and How Do They Work

An automated external defibrillator (AED) uses pads placed directly on a victim's chest to analyse the electrical activity of the victim's heart to determine better whether a shock is necessary. After an AED analyses the person's heart, it prompts the user to administer a shock if necessary. The pads placed on the victim's bare chest allow for better conductivity between them and the electrodes on the device.

How Do Automated External Defibrillator Pads Work?

Automated external defibrillators detect abnormal heart rhythms and send a slight electric shock to re-align the heart rhythm to normal and allow it to pump blood efficiently again. The process involves pads, a battery, and the AED machine. Like other parts of an AED, the pads are necessary for the process to work. These are often referred to as the AED disposables, and the electrode pads are crucial in enabling the process.

How Are AED Pads Used?

Here's how automated external defibrillator devices help save lives. First, the responder turns on the device. After the responder turns the device on, they should go to Standby mode, which is with the battery installed and with the device powered on. The voice prompts from the device will guide the user through the lifesaving steps if they decide to use it. The device then prompts the user to apply adhesive electrode pads on the victim's bare chest. 

Next, the adhesive electrode pads are known as Automated External Defibrillator (AED) electrode pads. After that, defibrillation pads work as a connector between their body and the device. The AED pads connect to and monitor their heart's rhythm, and then send those signals back to the device. The AED then evaluates whether an electrical shock is required or not. After that, either it recommends an electric shock, or it recognises that their rhythm is not shockable.

How to Apply AED Pads?

Most AEDs have at least one basic feature, which is that they can be utilised by untrained bystanders who are alone with a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Even if the responder has no AED training, they can still increase the chances of survival with a victim of sudden cardiac arrest by following the instructions provided by a modern AED.

CPR does not stop the heart, but it does help keep oxygenated blood flowing through the body. Early defibrillation, however, is required to restore a normal heart rhythm. Defibrillation within three minutes of collapse is crucial to increasing chances of survival, so survival is dependent on early defibrillation and CPR. Every minute without restoring a normal heart rhythm to an SCA victim decreases the chances of survival by ten per cent. If defibrillation is applied within the first three minutes from collapse, the chances of survival increase substantially.

As the number of deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest increases, communities install automated external defibrillators in public places to provide lifesaving electrical impulses to the heart. To use these defibrillators, you need to know about defibrillator pads and how to apply them correctly.


AED pads are necessary when using an AED, and that's why they're the most important part of the device. If the AED pads are not applied correctly, it can cause unnecessary suffering to the victim. Therefore, they must be applied correctly.

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