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An external defibrillator is a machine that is used to deliver an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. It is used to treat life threatening heart rhythms such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. It can also be used for electric conversion of atrial fibrillation to normal sinus rhythm.
An automated external defibrillator or AED is a portable automatic defibrillator. AEDs are designed for layperson use. It has leads that can be placed on the chest to detect abnormal heart rhythms. If it detects a life threatening rhythm, it recommends delivering an electrical shock. AED operation is taught in many first aid, CPR and first responder classes. AEDs are can sometimes be found in public places such as airports and offices. Home defibrillators might also be recommended for certain patients with heart disease.
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