Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have saved countless lives. Basically, the way an automated external defibrillator works is that during cardiac arrest it evaluates a person’s heartbeat and, if needed, shocks the heart to reestablish a normal heartbeat. Cardiac arrest typically happens when the heartbeat is abnormal or too fast, thus keeping the heart from working the way it’s supposed to, and with each moment that this is happening comes the possibility of permanent brain damage or even death.

Some people keep automated external defibrillators on hand at home, and it’s also common to see them in public places like schools and malls. Though many first aid and CPR courses include learning to use automated external defibrillators, the device is made to operate simply so that most anyone can use it to save another person’s life. Of course, if you ever use an automated external defibrillator, it’s recommended to first call 911 so that paramedics will arrive as quickly as possible.

Be Prepared to Use Automated External Defibrillators

It’s a good idea to be prepared to use automated external defibrillators, especially if you live with someone who is at risk for cardiac arrest or has a history of heart problems. Though automated external defibrillators have instructions, reading and following them on-the-spot doesn’t compare to having prior training and experience. Check in your local newspaper for CPR, First Aid, and automated external defibrillator training classes. Even if you do not live with someone who is at risk of having a heart attack, you never know when the valuable knowledge of how to use automated external defibrillators may save a life.

Championship Hearts’ education and awareness campaign shows Texans that AEDs are safe, easy to use, and save lives. So many people are afraid to use automated external defibrillators, but Championship Hearts aims to encourage people to use them by witnessing AED demonstrations in their community or trying it themselves at a training course or at a community gathering.