It's a life saving device with a big name. The Automatic External Defibrillator, or A.E.D., plays a critical role in unresponsive patients.
You can find them on the football field or even in the mall.
Although small in size, this machine can make a BIG difference in saving someone's life.
"They aid in someone not responding or someone who has lost consciousness and their heart is not beating, to get that immediate response that they need before EMS arrives," Wanda Mason with St. Joseph Healthy Communities said.
The machines have been brought in to public places, and even area schools, to help in times of emergency. However officials say it's a tool that is not to be used alone.
"It's not that they don't work, it's that you just don't want to go grab an AED first," Mason said. "We want to make sure that the person that is using the AED at least has their CPR training because the CPR is the integral part of the process."
However knowing when CPR and the defibrillator are needed can be half the battle.
"What you do is check for responsiveness of the person that is either lying down, or the person who is sitting up in the chair and kind of just went limp," Mason said. "And what you want to do is check to see if they're breathing or if their heart is beating."
Experts say the AED unit should only be used after CPR has been unsuccessful, and advise those who don't know the how to's on CPR to get some training.
"The best way to do that is to find a course close to you that you can take," Mason said.
St. Joseph offers CPR training classes the first Thursday of every month.
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