Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are a proven method of
reducing morbidity and mortality from acute myocardial infarction
(Heart Attack). An AED is a device that attaches to a victim's
chest to assess the heart's rhythm. An adult who has just gone
into sudden cardiac arrest (i.e., cessation of a heartbeat, most
commonly due to a heart attack) is most likely in urgent need of
defibrillation and a metered electrical charge can often restore the
heart to healthy function and save a life. To provide a realistic
chance of survival, defibrillation must be available soon after cardiac
The AED's located around campus (see AED Campus Locations) will enable
University employees, the general public or students to deliver early
defibrillation to victims in the first critical moments after a sudden
cardiac arrest. Responders' use of the AED should not replace the
care provided by emergency medical services (EMS) providers but it is
meant to provide a lifesaving bridge during the first few critical
minutes it takes for advanced life support providers to arrive.
Upon arrival of the EMS providers, patient care should be
transferred. Go to "on line training" to familiarize
yourself with the operation of these devices.
The UMD AED Public Access Defibrillation program is being managed by
the EHS Office. Medical direction and assistance is provided by
the UMD Health Services and Physician and Medical Director Debra
Cudnowski, MD. Maintenance of the cabinets, AED units, and
accessories is being carried out by Facilities Management.
Maintenance Is Required?
The device's batteries last more than a year in service,
can deliver 100 shocks, and have a five-year shelf life. Electrodes
last about two years (but are single use). You do not need to plug the
AED in or recharge it, so maintenance is minimal.
In addition, the Heartstart FR 2 has a self-test
feature. It will test itself every night and every week (but remains
ready for use even during the tests). To verify that your AED is ready
for use, all you need to do is look through a small window on the case;
if you see a flashing green light, the AED is fully functional.
If a flashing red "X" appears, only the battery needs to
be replaced - this will activate a self-test and is usually the
If you see a solid red "X" battery replacement will be
tried. If the battery replacement does not do the trick, then the
device needs servicing. FM will send the unit to the factory and
replace it with a spare until the while the unit is being serviced.
Check the device regularly, and report to the FM front
desk (8262) if there appears to be a problem. Facilities
Management will periodically be checking all of the AED’s on a monthly
basis. Batteries and pads will be replaced according to the
manufacturers recommendations. A
NOTE: If your device is flashing a red
"X" or has a solid red "X" or your box is alarming, please contact
Facilities Management at (8262)
How Much Training Is Required?
Heart Association and Philips
Medical Systems strongly recommend CPR before the use of an AED.
The UMD EHS office feels the same way and therefore encourages
everyone who can to take an Adult CPR/AED training course from either
the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. UMD Human
Resources will attempt to provide Adult CPR/AED training courses on
campus as funding and time permit.
Although it is highly desirable to be trained in CPR
when using an AED, it is recognized that not everyone has the
opportunity to take a certified CPR class. The Philips Heartstart
was designed to be very user friendly so that even an untrained person
could use it successfully. There are audible and visual cues to
guide the user in placing the pads correctly and administering the
shock at the right time. For this reason, and to give as many
campus employees and student groups as possible an awareness of the
Philips Heartstart AED and how it works, a 30 minute AED Awareness
training course has been prepared and is provided by the UMD EHS
Office. Sign up on line on this site or on the UMD Human
NOTE: Please contact the American Heart Association
and/or Philips Medical
Systems for more information.
I Hurt Someone With The AED?
The AED is designed so that it will only shock a person
whose heart rhythm is within specific parameters (for instance, V-fib).
All the operator needs do is verify that no one else is touching the
patient. Additionally, the Heartstart FR2 AED uses low-energy biphasic
electrical therapy. Unlike older models of manual defibrillators, the
amount of energy delivered to the patient is unlikely to hurt a person
who is touching the patient.
I Make Things Worse?
Technically, you can… The statistics from Phillips say
the FR2+ will correctly identify a shock-able rhythm 90% (So 10% of
those in V-Fib or V-Tach will not get the cue to be
shocked). The FR2+ will incorrectly identify a
non-shock-able rhythm 95% (so 5% of those who should not be shocked
will get the cue to be shocked). However, this is better than human
error and if you are checking a pulse that 5% will go down.
Also, if someone's heart is not pumping blood, they will
have certain brain damage after 4 to 6 minutes and will die after 10 to
15 minutes. The AED cannot make things worse in this case. It is
designed to work well in a variety of environments and conditions.
Facilities Management will maintain a database of all AEDs, and a
supply of batteries and pads. The units have been put on
recurring workorder to change the batteries and pads according to the
manufacturer's recommendation. The units will be checked monthly,
just as fire extinguishers are, to ensure the cabinet is in place, and
the green light is blinking in the AED window. Any maintenance or
repair will be taken care of by Facilities Management
If the AED is used, you will complete a form
(provided by the EHS Office) and send it to the EHS office (31 DAdB)
within 24 hours. The AED's Data Card will be collected and all data
will be downloaded for QA and records purposes. Dr. Cudnowski will
review the data, and a report will be sent back to you. Additionally,
the EHS office will gather additional survival data from the receiving
Facilities Management will check the operation of the
AED, replace the pads and data card and return it to service.