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What Are AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators)

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are life-saving devices designed to provide immediate assistance during sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) emergencies. 

SCA is a critical condition that can lead to the heart stopping its normal rhythm, known as ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib), which can be fatal if not treated promptly. 

AEDs are portable and user-friendly devices that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat. 

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll explore the importance of AEDs and provide valuable information to help you choose the right one.

Is SCA the Same as a Heart Attack?

No, SCA is not the same as a heart attack. While both are cardiovascular emergencies, they involve different aspects of heart health:

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA): SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, leading to chaotic rhythms like ventricular fibrillation. This prevents the heart from effectively pumping blood to the body and brain, causing the person to lose consciousness and collapse. Immediate defibrillation with an AED is crucial to restore a normal rhythm.

Heart Attack: A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is the result of a blocked coronary artery that restricts blood flow to a part of the heart muscle. Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea. A heart attack can lead to SCA if not treated promptly.

The key difference between the two is that SCA is primarily an electrical problem, while a heart attack is a circulation problem.

How Does the Heart Go into V-Fib?

V-Fib is a chaotic, disorganized heart rhythm in which the heart’s ventricles quiver instead of contracting effectively to pump blood. This condition disrupts blood flow to vital organs and tissues, leading to unconsciousness and death if not corrected promptly.

V-Fib can occur due to various factors, including:

Heart Disease: Conditions like coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy can disrupt the heart’s electrical system, increasing the risk of V-Fib.

Electrical Abnormalities: Certain congenital heart conditions or inherited arrhythmias can make individuals more susceptible to V-Fib.

Previous Heart Attacks: Scar tissue from a previous heart attack can create abnormal electrical pathways in the heart.

Drugs and Toxins: Certain medications, drug abuse, or exposure to toxic substances can trigger V-Fib.

Additionally, V-Fib can occur in various situations, such as:

  • A stressed heart (as in a myocardial infarction)
  • Overexertion
  • Heatstroke
  • Near-drowning incidents
  • Choking or blocked airway
  • A preexisting heart condition

V-Fib is a medical emergency, and immediate defibrillation with an AED is the primary treatment to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Does SCA Occur Mostly Among the Elderly?

While the risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) does increase with age due to factors like heart disease and age-related changes in the heart’s electrical system, it can affect individuals of all ages. 

SCA is not limited to the elderly, and it can occur unexpectedly in seemingly healthy individuals, including children and young adults. 

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of SCA in various age groups:

Elderly Population: The elderly are at a higher risk of SCA due to the increased prevalence of underlying heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and heart muscle disorders. Age-related changes in the heart’s conduction system can also contribute to SCA.

Young Adults and Athletes: Young adults, including athletes, can experience SCA, often due to undiagnosed heart conditions or inherited arrhythmias. This is a concerning issue, as these individuals may not exhibit typical risk factors associated with heart disease.

Children: SCA can occur in children, albeit less frequently. Congenital heart defects and certain genetic conditions can predispose children to SCA events.

It’s crucial to recognize that SCA can strike anyone, regardless of age, and having accessible AEDs in various settings can significantly improve the chances of survival across all age groups.

90% of Our Young Athletes Who Experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest Do Not Survive

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) among young athletes is a devastating reality. According to some studies, approximately 90% of young athletes who experience SCA do not survive. 

This alarming statistic underscores the importance of early detection and immediate access to AEDs in sports facilities and schools.

To improve the survival rate among young athletes, it’s crucial to:

Regular Cardiac Screening: Implement routine cardiac screenings for young athletes to detect underlying heart conditions that may predispose them to SCA. Screening may involve electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiograms to assess heart function and structure.

Education and Awareness: Coaches, teachers, parents, and athletes themselves should be educated about the signs and symptoms of SCA and the importance of early recognition and action. Quick access to an AED can be a game-changer.

CPR and AED Training: Encourage individuals involved in sports programs to receive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED use. Timely CPR and defibrillation can significantly increase the chances of survival.

AED Accessibility: Ensure that sports facilities, schools, and athletic venues have AEDs readily available. These devices should be strategically placed, easily accessible, and well-maintained.

Emergency Action Plans: Develop and implement comprehensive emergency action plans that outline the steps to follow in the event of an SCA. This should include calling 911, starting CPR, and using an AED.

AED Program Management

AED program management is a software-based solution designed to streamline the management of your Automated External Defibrillator (AED) assets. 

This tool assists in overseeing everything related to owning and potentially using AEDs in your state or organization. 

The primary goal of AED program management is to alleviate the stress associated with AED management, whether you have one AED or several deployed at your facility or site.

Here are some common questions and challenges that AED program management helps address:

  • How Many AEDs should I purchase?
  • Where should I place them?
  • How do I maintain them?
  • What do I do if I use one of my AEDs?
  • How do I stay compliant with legislation and regulations?

Program management provides answers to these questions and more. 

Key features of AED program management include:

Dashboard: A central dashboard to monitor the overall health of your AED program.

Robust Reporting: Detailed reports to track AED status, maintenance, and compliance.

Remote Monitoring: Automated checks to confirm AED readiness.

Document Library: Access to essential documents such as prescription forms, EMS registration, AED program guides, and legal resources.

Permissions-Based Portal: Customized solutions for different user profiles within your organization.

Resource Center: Training materials, video tutorials, and user manuals to support AED program success.

AED & CPR Training

Whether you’ve recently acquired an AED or already have AEDs in place, possessing an AED is just one aspect of preparing for a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) event. 

While AEDs are designed to guide users with minimal training, completing CPR and AED certification can be the critical difference between life and death. CPR keeps the heart in a shockable rhythm until the AED arrives on the scene.

Our dedicated staff and training centers can help you schedule customized CPR/AED classes tailored to your needs.

Each course equips you with the knowledge and skills to act as the first responder during emergencies. You will learn how to perform CPR, operate an AED, and become more comfortable with the critical steps of the Chain of Survival before professional medical help arrives.

Chain of Survival

The Chain of Survival represents the critical steps that must occur swiftly to maximize the chances of survival for a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). 

While using an AED is the primary method to treat most cardiac arrests, the initial recognition of SCA, immediate 911 activation, and the commencement and continuous performance of CPR are all vital steps necessary to enhance the chances of survival.

Time is of the essence: Without CPR or AED use, the odds of survival for an SCA victim decrease by 1% every 6 seconds.

Here are the key links in the Chain of Survival:

Recognize SCA: Quickly identify the signs of SCA in a victim.

Call 911: Immediately activate emergency services and request assistance.

Begin CPR: Initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation to maintain blood flow and oxygenation.

Use an AED: If available, use an AED to restore normal heart rhythm.

Professional Medical Help: Arrives on the scene to continue care.

Understanding and following the Chain of Survival is essential to saving lives during SCA emergencies. Every moment counts in increasing the chances of a positive outcome.

Rescue 7 Recommended AED Products

In the Buyer’s Guide for Rescue 7 AEDs, we’ll introduce various devices and multiple purchasing options. We take a strong stance behind each product we offer, and we’ve got our own insights to share about each one.

Whether you’re looking to make a purchase, rent an AED, or explore financing options, we’ve got you covered. 

Stryker AEDs

As a global frontrunner in medical technology, Stryker’s dedication goes beyond just producing equipment – it’s about revolutionizing the realm of healthcare. 

With a vast array of products under its belt, Stryker supports healthcare professionals in their quest to enhance patient care and optimize operational outcomes. 

Their products are not only designed with the latest technology but are also user-friendly, making them a top choice for both medical professionals and the general public. 

Choosing Stryker means aligning with a brand that has, over the years, consistently prioritized patient safety and optimal outcomes.

Refurbished Products

In today’s rapidly evolving medical landscape, the demand for high-quality equipment is ever-growing. However, alongside this demand is an increasing awareness of sustainability and cost-effectiveness. 

Refurbished medical products address both of these concerns. These devices, having been restored to their original condition, offer the same performance and reliability as new products but at a fraction of the cost. 

Moreover, by choosing refurbished, healthcare institutions and individuals contribute to a more sustainable environment by reducing electronic waste and promoting the reuse of valuable resources.

Enter the Reviva-line AEDs. These units stand as a testament to sustainability and cost-effectiveness without skimping on performance. Each AED under the REVIVA-line undergoes rigorous and meticulous testing, ensuring adherence to the pinnacle of standards. 

Accompanying these devices is a 4-year warranty, a testament to their enduring reliability and quality. Choosing REVIVA-line means embracing a blend of financial prudence, ecological responsibility, and assured quality.


Navigating the complexities of sudden cardiac events and the vital role of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) can be daunting. 

However, with the right knowledge, training, and equipment, the power to save lives is within our reach. At Rescue 7, we are dedicated to not only providing top-quality AEDs but also fostering a community that is informed, trained, and ready to act in the face of cardiac emergencies.

Your decision to invest in understanding AEDs, recognizing the signs of cardiac events, and training for emergency responses can make a profound difference. The reality of sudden cardiac arrest, as stark as it may be, emphasizes the urgency and importance of being prepared. Together, with the right tools and knowledge, we can change outcomes and save more lives.