An AED is used when someone falls victim to a condition called Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), an electrical disturbance of the heart that causes it to fire off rapidly and chaotically, or “fibrillate.” A heart in SCA is not able to pump oxygenated blood to the body and the victim will become unconscious and cease breathing normally. An AED delivers a shock to help restore a normal heart rhythm. AEDs work in conjunction with CPR chest compressions. AEDs give voice instructions and are made to be simple and user-friendly for the non-medically trained lay public. AEDs are a critical component in helping save lives in this grave emergency.
YES. AEDs are very safe. During analysis, the AED reads the heart rhythm and makes the determination whether a shock is necessary. If no shock is advised, the AED will not shock. The device, rather than the user, makes the decision. AEDs are safe to be used on an adult, child, or infant that meets the criteria of being unconscious and not breathing normally. A person does not need to be certified to use an AED. They are very simple and safe to use.
SDPHB provides all of the support necessary to place and maintain a public access defibrillation (AED) program at your home or organization. This includes such program management elements as medical direction/physician of oversight, CPR/AED certification as an American Heart Association CPR/AED training center, as well as 24/7 support if an AED has been deployed. SDPHB is a program of the City of San Diego’s Emergency Medical Services system, composed of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance.
AEDs can be placed in both public buildings and private homes. There are two parts to getting an AED. First is the purchase of the device, second is providing program management, or oversight for the AED. Because AEDs are medical devices, they need to have medical oversight if in the public. San Diego Project Heart Beat partners with the Cardiac Science Corporation as its official AED supplier, though there are also other brands of AED available that SDPHB will support. SDPHB was created to provide a broad range of program management services. Signing up is fast and easy.
To find out how to purchase an AED or schedule an informational presentation about SDPHB and AEDs, contact SDPHB at 619-243-0909. SDPHB representatives would be happy to help guide you through the process of setting up a public access defibrillation program as well as put you in contact with resources to purchase an AED.
This matter has been thoroughly addressed over the years to provide the maximum amount of protection for both individuals and organizations who use and maintain AEDs. In addition to the Good Samaritan Law that protects those who render medical aid to victims of emergencies, provision is made in the California Health and Safety Code (1797.176 Link Here) to provide additional protections for AED users. If your organization is keeping up with the maintenance and program oversight requirements for AED placement, you are fully covered from a liability perspective.
No. AEDs are made to be used by anyone of the general public regardless of training status, though CPR/AED certification is highly encouraged for as many persons as possible.
As an official American Heart Association training center, SDPHB offers both group classes (minimum of and individual online CPR/AED training opportunities both for the general public and for healthcare providers. For more information about courses, visit our classes/training tab.
AED electrode pads need to be replaced approximately every two years. AED batteries need to be replaced approximately every four years. Replacement items can be ordered directly from your AED manufacturer.
Yes. SDPHB offers grant assistance for all non-profit organizations with non-profit 501 c3-status, regardless of type. This includes a refund of 25% the cost of the AED (Cardiac Science brand only) and half-price on our program management services. The application process is brief and simple.
Yes. You can make a tax-deductible donation to San Diego Project Heart Beat that will go towards placing AEDs with needy organizations. You can also donate an AED to a location in your name through San Diego Project Heart Beat’s San Diego Foundation account. For more information call SDPHB at 619-243-0909 or click on the “Donate Here” tab.