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Myths about AED’s

Apr 12, 2021

Myth #1: You need training to use an AED.

AEDs are safe to use by people of all ages, with no previous training. Most AEDs have a voice-guided system that takes the user through a number of easy-to-follow steps, supported by pictures. Some even provide CPR instructions as well.

Myth #2: Legally, I can’t use an AED on someone.

Legislation in most provinces and territories across Canada protects individuals who use AEDs from liability when they are used in the context of saving a life, so don’t be afraid to intervene! The only provinces and territory without Good Samaritan laws are New Brunswick, Yukon, and Nunavut.

Myth #3: I know CPR – that’s enough.

CPR is very important, but CPR alone is not enough. Survival with just CPR is between 30-40%.  When an AED is added survival is increased to 80-90%

Myth #4: If I administer the AED, I am going to get shocked too!

An AED cannot shock a person whose heart is in normal rhythm. Most AEDs will clearly tell you something along the lines of: “No one should touch the patient” before a shock is administered. Should you happen to have a hand on the patient while a shock is administered, you may feel a slight tingle.

Myth #5: Medical personnel will arrive in time. Why should I bother owning an AED?

Never assume time is on your side. Remember, you only have minutes to act! In high-traffic urban areas, rush hour traffic may radically alter EMS arrival. In rural areas, EMS have to travel long distances to reach you. By having an AED on site, you keep those around you safer.