5 Myths about Automated External Defibrillator Debunked

A person can only live through a sudden cardiac arrest if they get CPR and are shocked by a Lifeline Automated External Defibrillator (AED) right away. This is why these devices can be found in almost any commercial establishment.

AEDs are being put in more and more places, like airports, shopping malls, gyms, and grocery stores. However, why isn't the number of people who survive a cardiac arrest going up if there are more AEDs in the area?

A lot of people are still afraid to use an AED.Part of this is because they don't know if they are qualified and don't want to make a mistake. 

The AED has clear instructions and won't shock the person if they don't have a heart attack. The AED will also tell you how to use it correctly by talking to you. If more people knew how to use an AED correctly, the number of people who survive a sudden heart attack would increase.

Here are five common myths about AEDs debunked:

1. AEDs Are Expensive

An AED costs about $250, but there are several free ways to get the device. For example, many schools are eligible to receive a free AED from their state. 

Each state is different, but you may be able to get a free AED from the Community Health Foundation, Cardiac Science, or Medtronic, to name a few. The American Heart Association created a free AED program. 

You can receive a free AED or a free CPR class. In many cases, the police or fire department will provide the AED.

2. You’re Not Allowed to Use an AED

Anyone can use an AED. According to the American Heart Association, you only need three minutes to use an AED. 

The AED will guide you through the process; you only need to know what the chest looks like when the device is placed on it. After three minutes, the AED will analyse the person's heart rhythm. If the person has a cardiac arrest, the device will shock the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. 

It's that easy! An important note you should remember is that you can't use an AED if you don't know how to perform CPR.

3. Someone Else Will Do It

If you see someone collapse, you are the first responder. That person depends on you to be their "lifeline." 

Unfortunately, many people walk away from the person and assume someone else will help. Think about how you would feel if someone just walked away from you. 

Think about how you could have been the person's "lifeline." Would you want someone just to walk away from you if you need help? Would you like to be that person who just walks away? 

Be the person who helps and be the "lifeline" for someone in need.

4. There Is Someone Else Around Who Is A Doctor or Paramedic

If someone collapses, you have three minutes to take action. That is not a lot of time. 

You might not be able to ask anyone, and the person you are with might not be a doctor or paramedic. That person might even tell you, 

"I am not a doctor," and still expect others to respond. Other people around you can help, but you are the first person.

5. You Can’t Use an AED If You Don’t Know CPR

You can follow the AED's instructions even if you don't know CPR. The machine is designed to be easy to use and will walk you through the process step-by-step. 

You don't have to deal with the person's airway or be in a position to give mouth-to-mouth. Just follow the directions. The AED will shock the person, and you will both be grateful that it was there.


Sudden cardiac arrest is severe, and many people walk away from those in need. The AED can potentially change the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest. 

If the AED can start a heart beating again, the person will have a much better chance of surviving heart failure. Just follow the AED's instructions, and you'll be fine. Don't be afraid. The AED is there to help you and the person who collapsed.

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