Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Overview

Defibrillation, the delivery of an electric shock to the heart to treat ventricular fibrillation, has moved from being available only in the hospital and emergency response areas to implementation by the trained layperson. This is done through public access defibrillation (PAD) programming. Research has repeatedly shown that shortening the time between the onset of ventricular fibrillation and defibrillation increases survival of victims. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) made public access defibrillation possible with the devices allowing trained lay people to safely and effectively defibrillate the victim of ventricular fibrillation. The goal of public access defibrillation is to have AEDs readily available for use by laypersons trained in both cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED use.

In general, the pediatric population has not been thought to be at high risk for ventricular fibrillation. Often cardiac arrests in pediatrics are caused by respiratory rather than cardiac factors. The incidence of sudden cardiac death in the pediatric population is estimated 1 in every 200,000-300,000 with an estimated 5,000 -7,000 children with no previous symptoms dying in the United States each year.

Current research suggests that the vast majority of sudden deaths in children and adolescents are directly related to previously undetected cardiac anomalies. Sudden death related to undetected cardiac anomalies appears to occur most often among high school athletes. The prevalence of sudden death in competitive high school-age athletes is in the range of 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 300,000.

What is an Automated External Device (AED)?

Advancements in medical technology make it possible to provide immediate access to defibrillation through devices known as automated external defibrillators (AEDs). This technology significantly increases the odds of surviving cardiac arrest. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable medical device that restarts a heart that has stopped beating effectively. It automatically analyzes heart rhythms and delivers an electric current to the heart if the heart is in ventricular fibrillation to restore the heart back to its normal rhythm.


General Considerations/Requirements

The School Board of Broward County requires the following:

  • Persons who are designated to use an AED are required to obtain appropriate training and demonstrate proficiency in the use of AEDs.
  • Persons who have used an AED are required to activate the EMS (Emergency Medical Services – (9-1-1) system.
  • The SBBC Safety Department will notify Fire Rescue/Emergency Services when they provide an AED to a school/facility.
  • Schools/facilities who wish to obtain an additional AED (on their own) should speak with the Safety Department prior to purchasing or receiving a donated AED.
  • Once the school/facility receives a new AED (by purchasing or donation) they are required to notify the Safety Department so the AED unit can be registered.
  • When a school/facility obtains an additional AED (on their own) they are still required to follow state and school board policies.
  • Immunity is provided from civil liability for any person who in good faith uses the AED to render emergency care or treatment (Good Samaritan Act).

Medical Emergency Response Plan and AED Procedure

See School Safety Plan

Policy & Procedure for AED use

Refer to Training Manual provided with AED machine.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting of AED

Contact the Safety Department for any maintenance or troubleshooting questions at 754-321-4200.

School and District Sites & Facilities Responsibility

  1. Identifies at least two (2) employees (who are on site during hours of operations) who will be trained and in the use of the AED in accordance with SBBC policy #5303
  2. Ensures that each AED trained employee will view an AED instructional presentation on the Coordinated Student Health Services website annually.
  3. Maintains current copies of trained individuals’ AED/CPR certification with the AED unit.
  4. Ensures that designated employees for emergency response have a current AED card and that they register for renewal prior to the expiration date on their card. (Copies of active CPR/AED cards should be attached to the Readiness Inventory sheet-AED Log)
  5. Notifies the Safety Department if AED has changed location (FISH/room) number.
  6. Notifies the Safety Department if the school purchases an AED on their own.
  7. Updates 911 Procedure Poster annually & posts throughout the school including health room, front office, cafeteria, physical education areas and in close proximity to AED unit
  8. Designates personnel to complete the AED Readiness Inventory form bi-weekly (every two weeks)
  9. Notifies Safety Department of equipment/supplies needed or equipment concerns as directed at the bottom of the AED Readiness Inventory form
  10. Coordinates with Coordinated Student Health Services Department and local EMS regarding the emergency needs of any students with special needs.


AED Equipment and Supply Information

Please refer to this site

Please contact the Safety Department at 754-321-4200 for information on how to order supplies. Please contact the Coordinated Student Health Services Department for information regarding Pediatric AED pads/equipment at 754-321-1575.