Safe use of automated external defibrillators

Essential training on automated external defibrillators: Saving lives in critical moments

Sudden cardiac arrest represents a critical emergency that can strike without warning, affecting thousands across the UK annually. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have become a vital tool in the battle to save lives, offering essential support until professional medical help arrives. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune delves into the safe usage of AEDs, underpinned by the latest legislation and best practices, and highlights how our training courses at The Mandatory Training Group can empower you with the skills to make a difference.

Key facts and statistics

  • Each year, over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the UK, with only a 10% survival rate.
  • Rapid response with an AED can increase the chance of survival by up to 70% if deployed within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest.
  • Despite their proven effectiveness, a study reveals that only 40% of the public feels confident using an AED.

Understanding AEDs

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and treats them through defibrillation. By delivering a therapeutic dose of electric current, AEDs restore a normal heart rhythm and can be the difference between life and death.

Legislation and regulations

In the UK, the use of AEDs is supported by various legal and regulatory frameworks:

  • Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 mandate adequate training and provision of equipment to ensure employee safety, under which AEDs can fall.
  • Resuscitation Council UK Guidelines and British Heart Foundation recommendations emphasize the importance of AED availability in public spaces and workplaces.

Best practices

  • Regular training - Ensure that key staff are trained and familiar with the operation of AEDs. Refresher courses are recommended annually.
  • Maintenance - Regular checks and maintenance of the AED unit as per the manufacturer's guidelines ensure readiness for an emergency.
  • Accessibility - AEDs should be easily accessible, well-marked, and registered with local emergency services.

Safe usage protocols

  • Assess the situation - Ensure the environment is safe for both the rescuer and the victim.
  • Call for help - Dial 999 immediately for emergency assistance.
  • Follow the AED instructions - Modern AEDs provide clear, step-by-step voice instructions.
  • Perform CPR - Use CPR to support blood flow to the heart and brain immediately before and after AED use if trained to do so.


To effectively prepare for a cardiac emergency, we recommend the following:

  • AED training for staff - Regular in-depth training sessions to build confidence and familiarity with AED usage.
  • Policy development - Develop and regularly update policies regarding AED maintenance, training, and usage.
  • Community engagement - Host awareness sessions to educate the community about the importance of AEDs and basic life support.


AEDs are undeniably powerful tools for saving lives during cardiac emergencies. With proper training, maintenance, and accessibility, their potential can be fully realized. At The Mandatory Training Group, we are committed to providing comprehensive AED training that equips individuals and organizations with the knowledge and skills to act decisively.

Do not wait until it is too late. Enrol in our automated external defibrillator course today and empower yourself and your team with the knowledge to save lives. Click here to learn more and register for our upcoming sessions. Together, we can create safer communities through education and preparedness.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Essential training on automated external defibrillators - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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