SOAS University of London

Health and Safety

Automated External Defibrillators

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are machines that have now been made available to the general public and not just to ambulance paramedics.

AEDs are sophisticated, reliable, safe, computerised devices that deliver defibrillatory shocks to victims of cardiac arrest. They use voice and visual prompts to guide users, and are suitable for use by lay people and healthcare professionals. All AEDs analyse the victim’s heart rhythm, determine the need for a shock, and then deliver a shock.

Staff Development along with the Health & Safety Office organise defibrillator training courses designed to teach any member of staff how to use this equipment appropriately as when used by trained persons they greatly improve the chances of survival of any casualty.


  • Heart conditions
  • Resuscitation
  • CPR protocols
  • Use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Sequence of Actions When Using an AED

  1. Make sure the victim, any bystanders, and you are safe. If two rescuers are present, assign tasks.
  2. If the victim is unresponsive and not breathing normally send someone for the AED and to call for an ambulance. If you are on your own do this yourself; you may need to leave the victim.
  3. Start CPR.
  4. As soon as the AED arrives switch on the AED and attach the electrode pads. If more than one
    rescuer is present, continue CPR whilst this is done. Follow the voice / visual prompts and ensure that nobody touches the victim whilst the AED is analysing the rhythm.
  5. If a shock is indicated, ensure that nobody touches the victim. Push the shock button as directed and continue as directed by the voice / visual prompts.
  6. If no shock is indicated immediately resume CPR using a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths. Continue as directed by the voice / visual prompts.
  7. Continue to follow the AED prompts until:
  • qualified help arrives and takes over,
  • the victim starts to breathe normally,
  • you become exhausted.

Trained Defibrillator Users:

College Buildings  
Lisa McSweeneyFaculty of Languages & Cultures3544080lm2
Brunei Gallery
Shane McCauslandHistory of Art & ArchaeologyB4024705sm80
Faber Building
Wilbur MoserDistance LearningFG054078wm14
Sarah JonesPostgraduate Distance LearningFG084097sj29