Cardiac events cause the deaths of more than 350,000 people each year. Access to Automated External Defibrillators, devices that measure the heart's activity and produce a mild shock to help restore proper rhythm, can save lives. Both the American Red Cross and American Heart Association offer training courses resulting in certification for AED use.
People employed in helping professions such as health care employees, teachers, lifeguards, child care workers and athletic trainers often need AED certification. The Red Cross provides AED training as part of the First Aid/CPR/AED certification course. Like the Red Cross, the American Heart Organization offers AED training as part of a larger course that includes CPR and/or First Aid. Students learn how to recognize cardiac distress and how to use the AED equipment. Students study the differences between using AED on adults and children, how defibrillation works, safety protocol for providers and victims and how to alternate the AED use with CPR. Upon finishing the course successfully, students receive a printed certification. Both organizations offer AED training in traditional classroom settings or blended with online learning.