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If you are wondering what an AED is – and why they seem to be in most offices and public buildings, you're not alone. In fact, because these devices are now commonly available, more people than ever before are curious about them. So – just what is an AED?

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It is a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart's rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, more than 350,000 people will suffer a cardiac arrest this year. Currently, the only way to restore a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest is to use an AED.

At both Deb Sampson and Ames Street snack shacks, there are Automated External Defibrillator (AED) available.