How do AED prompts work?

How do AED prompts work

How do AED prompts work?

Just thinking about using an automated external defibrillator (AED) can be intimidating and scary. Especially for those of us who aren’t trained first responders or cardiologists! Rest assured, modern AEDs with easy-to-follow instructional prompts take as much of the guesswork as possible out of the equation, ensuring safe and effective care in emergency situations.

Are most AEDs full-automatic or semi-automatic?

Many public access AEDs are fully automatic. Once the pads are affixed to the victim’s chest, a fully automatic AED will analyze the underlying heart rhythm and, if a shockable rhythm is detected, the AED will instruct the rescuer to stand clear before automatically administering a shock to the victim. 

An automatic AED, like the best-selling HeartSine Samaritan PAD (which offers both automatic and semi-automatic versions), will never administer a shock to an individual whose heart is functioning normally. The HeartSine also provides visual and audio prompts and CPR feedback … more on that in a moment!

Like an automatic AED, a semi-automatic AED, like the ZOLL AED Pro will read the victim’s underlying heart rhythm. However, a semi-automatic AED gives the rescuer more control over shock delivery. If a semi-automatic AED detects a shockable rhythm, it will prompt the rescuer to push a button to deliver the electrical shock.

Don’t worry! A semi-automatic AED will never recommend administering a shock to an individual whose heart is functioning normally. Several AED models are available as semi-automatic with an option for fully automatic. 

Which AEDs offer visual prompts?

Nearly every AED offers some version of a visual prompt. For clear graphics and iconography, the HeartSine is a strong option. You may also want to take a closer look at the Zoll AED Plus, which features large graphics for pad placement and visual icons for step-by-step rescue process guidance. It’s a great choice for noisy or multilingual environments.  

Which AEDs offer audio prompts?

Some AEDs, like the Physio-Control LIFEPAK 1000 come with large screens for graphical displays, text prompts, and ECG information. 

Looking for CPR feedback prompts? You’re in luck. Several popular AEDs, including the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 450, Zoll AED Plus, Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2, and the Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 offer real-time CPR feedback.

To find an AED that’s right for your home, office, or business, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at We’d love to help.

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.