Anyone who has minimal CPR and AED training can use an AED to help save a life.
Many people around the world are trained, including police and security officers, firefighters, athletic trainers, flight attendants and lifeguards. Newly-developed AEDs such as the LIFEPAK CR Plus AED offer greater ease of use and can be found in schools, health clubs, community centers, religious communities, homes and many other locations. AEDs are designed to help people with minimal training use them safely in tense, emergency situations. They have numerous built-in safeguards and are designed to deliver a shock only if the AED detects one or more shocks are necessary.
Their ease of use and built-in safety mechanisms make AEDs suitable for use in community or company-wide programs.
Having an AED close by can mean the difference between life and death for a victim of SCA.
Time to the first defibrillation shock is the most critical factor in determining survival rates for SCA. With every minute that goes by, survival rates drop up to 10 percent.  That leaves a window of 10 minutes in which to potentially save a life, after which few rescue attempts succeed. 
Currently more than 92 percent of SCA victims die because defibrillation isn't available soon enough.  Although CPR is essential to maintaining blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body, defibrillation is the single most effective treatment for SCA. Time is of the essence because brain death and permanent death begin in 4-6 minutes. 
The American Heart Association recommends defibrillation within five minutes or less of collapse. Unfortunately, it takes emergency medical services teams, on average, six to 12 minutes to arrive.  Time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival, can be reduced if an AED is on-site and can be brought to the victim quickly. This is one of the reasons survival rates improve in communities with active AED programs. Remember, every minute that passes before defibrillation reduces survival rates by 7-10 percent.
An AED costs about as much as a personal computer and software, and is easy to use and maintain. Having AEDs readily available in schools, airports, stadiums and other public places makes sense.
Our goal is to improve SCA survival rates. On-site AEDs can make the difference.
Cummins, R.O. 1989. From concept to standard-of-care? Review of the clinical experience with automated external defibrillators. Annals of Emergency Medicine 18: 1269-75. "About Sudden Death and Cardiac Arrest," American Heart Association Web site, May 2007. "About Sudden Death and Cardiac Arrest," American Heart Association Web site, May 2007. "About Sudden Death and Cardiac Arrest," American Heart Association Web site, May 2007. Physio-Control review of clinical literature, May 2007