Automated External Defibrillators

AEDs have been installed in a variety of UBC buildings to provide quick response in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

What is an automated external defibrillator (AED)?

AEDs have been installed in a variety of UBC buildings to provide quick response in the event of a cardiac arrest. The defibrillator provides quick access to help and can increase the chance of saving someone’s life.

An AED is a portable unit that provides a life-saving shock to a person in sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart unexpectedly and abruptly stops beating. This is usually caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.

Once applied, the AED analyzes a patient’s heart activity and determines if a life-saving shock is required. The AED cannot deliver a shock unless the person is in cardiac arrest.

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Is sudden cardiac arrest the same as a heart attack?

Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart unexpectedly and abruptly stops beating. This is usually caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.

A heart attack is a condition in which the blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked, resulting in the death of the heart muscle. A person suffering experiencing a heart attack usually (but not always) has chest pain and usually remains conscious. Heart attacks are serious and sometimes will lead to sudden cardiac arrest. However, sudden cardiac arrest may occur independently from a heart attack and without warning signs.

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How do you use an AED?

Using a defibrillator is safe and straightforward, and its light weight means it can be carried to where it is needed. Once activated, the device provides easy-to-follow voice instructions and automatically determines if someone requires a life-saving shock. Defibrillators cannot do harm, and will only deliver a live-saving shock if it is required in the case of cardiac arrest. It will not shock someone accidentally.

See the short video below for a demonstration of using the LIFEPAK CR Plus AED.

Click on the Watch on YouTube icon on the bottom right of the screen to make the view larger (after clicking on the play button).

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Where are AEDs located on the Vancouver campus?

Automatic External Defibrillators or AEDs are now available at a number of publicly accessible buildings across UBC’s Vancouver campus (Point Grey).

The portable AED devices are located in a white cabinet and have an AED sign above the unit.

In the event of an emergency, when a defibrillator is required, 9-1-1 dispatchers can also provide direction to the nearest AED.

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What are other frequently asked questions about AEDs?

  1. Can I use a defibrillator if I don’t have specific qualifications?
    • Defibrillators are simple for anyone, anywhere to use. They are equipped with automated voice instructions to guide the user on how to use the device. The defibrillator itself determines if a life-saving shock is required or not.
  1. Am I at risk of legal action if I misuse a defibrillator?
    • The Good Samaritan Act of British Columbia protects defibrillator users when they are using the device to provide emergency medical services to a person in sudden cardiac arrest.
  1. What if I am unsure if a person is in sudden cardiac arrest or not?
    • The defibrillator is designed to only deliver a life-saving shock if a patient is in cardiac arrest. Defibrillators are capable of analyzing a patient’s heart activity and determining if a life-saving shock is required.
  1. Will the defibrillator hurt someone?
    • No. You cannot cause harm to a person with a defibrillator because the device will only deliver a life-saving shock if a person requires it. Defibrillators are capable of analyzing a patient’s heart activity and determining if a life-saving shock is required.
  1. Why is my building not on the AED map?
  1. Once an AED has been used do I need to notify anyone?
    • Contact Campus Security at 604-822-2222 when an AED is used on campus. Security will retrieve the used AED and replace it with a temporary unit.
  1. What do I do if I notice an AED missing from its storage unit?

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