How to Use a Defibrillator

January 11, 2014

Access CardioSystems was founded in 2000 as a manufacturer of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be used by first responders and medical professionals. Due to the ease of use of Access CardioSystems superior AED products, more than 12,000 units of its devices were implemented in just one year.

AEDs are best used by medical professionals and first responders. However, the chance of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest diminish significantly with every moment after the event, meaning ordinary citizens can find themselves in lifesaving positions. Prior to using an AED, a 9-1-1 call should be made, the victim’s breath and heartbeat should be checked, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be attempted. After two minutes of CPR, if the victim has not revived, it may be appropriate to use an AED to resuscitate the victim.

Fortunately, AED technologies are becoming easier to use. Upon powering up the device, most models will give the layperson step-by-step instructions, often with voice prompts. After the victim’s chest is exposed (and dried, if necessary), apply the sticky pads to the person’s chest. The right pad should be placed above the person’s nipple, while the left pad should be positioned just below the nipple. All jewelry and other medical patches should be removed from the body, and most kits even feature scissors in case the victim has an excessive amount of chest hair. Next, press the device’s “analyze” button. If a shock is needed, the device will inform the layperson of when to press the “shock” button, and continue to perform CPR while waiting for a medical responder.


The scientific history of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) has led to many innovative designs in the modern day, such as the AccessAED from Access CardioSystems. Dr. Peter Christian Abildgaard, a Danish veterinarian and physician, first discovered the life-saving abilities of defibrillation in 1775. In his experiment, chickens were put into cardiac arrest and then brought back to life with shocks across the chest. What Dr. Abildgaard had induced was not scientifically defined until 1849, when German scientist Dr. Carl Ludwig and his student, Mortiz Hoffa, discovered electrical stimulus-induced ventricular fibrillation. Dr. Ludwig’s articulation of the phenomenon inspired other scientists to conduct additional experiments.

The next major discovery occurred in 1900. University of Geneva scientists Dr. Jean Louis Pevost and Dr. Frederic Batelli researched the impact varying strengths of electrical current had on the heart. The two found that a weak alternating current or direct current of electricity could put a heart into dangerous fibrillation, but a much stronger current was needed to revive the heart. This was a significant finding in the development of AED technology, one which inspired large investments and additional experimentation. Modern AED companies, such as Access CardioSystems, have benefited from early experimenters in electricity and cardiology.

When an individual goes into cardiac arrest, his or her heart stops pumping blood, a problem which may be caused by uncoordinated electrical activity or arrhythmia within the heart. Administrating an electrical shock with a defibrillator often helps the heart to begin beating efficiently again and restore its proper rhythm.

AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, were developed in an effort to minimize deaths caused by fibrillation. Access CardioSystems, a medical business opened in 2000, developed the AccessAED specifically for laypeople and the general public to use in the event of a cardiac emergency. Access CardioSystems engineered its AEDs to be user-friendly in an effort to minimize and help to prevent deaths. The system requires no formal medical training to operate because the directions can easily followed in the event of an emergency.

AED devices provide prompts that inform the user to attach electrodes to the subject. Once attached, the electrodes analyze the subject’s cardiac rhythm to determine whether a shock is necessary. If so, the user is prompted to press a button that delivers a shock. The subject is then reanalyzed by the AED to determine if an additional shock is needed. If not, the device will prompt the user to check the subject’s pulse. In many cases, users should perform CPR in conjunction with the AED’s functions.