Automatic External Defibrillators

Every year, sudden cardiac arrest strikes approximately a quarter million people in the United States. Fewer than five percent survive, often because emergency medical services could not reach them in time. According to a study by the National Center for Early Defibrillation, survival rates doubled in public locations with automatic external defibrillators (AED), compared to those without them. The devices shock the heart back into normal rhythm.

Learn How to Use an AED

Defibrillators use clear, natural voice instructions and guide the lay responder through each step of defibrillation. Integrated "SMART pads" are placed on the patient's bare skin to transmit information to the defibrillator, which senses and adapts to the responder's actions along the way.

No formal training is required to operate these devices and it is virtually impossible to shock someone who is not experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. 

If you’re interested in a formal training, sign up for AED training with GW’s Emergency Medical Response Group (EMeRG).

Locate an AED

Automatic external defibrillators (AED) are installed in highly trafficked buildings on our Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon and Virginia campuses to ensure that immediate care is available to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

Depending on the building that you are in, the AED may be placed in the following locations:

  • Small buildings, such as townhouses: Near fire extinguisher by main entrance or near kitchen/dining area on the first floor of the building
  • Academic Buildings: Near first floor lobby elevators or near fire alarm panels on the first floor of the building
  • Residential Halls: Near first floor lobby elevators or at the security desk on the first floor of the building

If your building does not have an AED, please contact Health & Emergency Management Services at