Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)


This lesson plan (#4 of 4 in a series) covers the basic fundamentals of using an automated external defibrillator in concert with basic life support measures for persons whose heart electrical activity is shown to be abnormal or absent while activating the emergency medical system "EMS" (911 in the USA) for follow-up care.


This lesson plan (#4 of 4 in series) addresses the life-saving steps in using an automatic external defibrillation (AED) devices.  AEDs are used to re-initiate normal heart electrical activity in conjunction with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in restoring the heart's blood pumping function to individuals who are found without a pulse.

The teacher can expect to familiarize the students primarily with Red Cross AED protocols and concepts from this lesson.  The organization of this lesson plan is to show multimedia presentation (hook) that gets the students attention, followed by demonstrations, formal lecture with handouts, small student work groups, followed by formative and summative assessments (online exam) to close the lesson plan.  Given the time required to cycle a class full of students both through didactic and practical aspects of this lesson plan, teachers can expect to devote about a week's worth of class periods to get students proficient in this objectives for this lesson plan.

Expected outcomes for students center on being able to understand the adjunct life-saving measures associated with AED use during cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.  The teacher will be able to utilize the didactic and media resources provided herein to provide students with basis for progression into a full practicum for this learning modality.  This lesson plan covers the basic fundamentals of addressing an adult who collapses in front of the responder. It addresses the steps to begin basic life support resuscitative efforts and activating the emergency medical system (calling 911 in the USA).  This lesson plan assumes access to practice AED devices commonly made available by educational institutions to their instructors.  In addition, the lesson plan adopts Red Cross protocols for becoming certified for CPR requiring concomitant the use of CPR practice mannequins on which to place the AEDs which is the rationale for having this content be last in order for this fourth part of the lesson plan series.


Work area suitable for students to work in pairs with AEDs and CPR practice mannequins.

Adult or Adolescent/Child or Infant CPR practice mannequins for student practice (mouthguards or using of cleaning agents between class periods as teacher deems appropriate prior to in-class lesson plan mannequin activity).

Videos and PDF resources provided in this lesson plan to be used in conjunction with class activity.

Lesson Plan Organization:

The lesson series is over five class periods with each day organized:

a) Introduction by teacher, b) Video Hook Preview, c) Teacher-led short class discussion about video concepts, d) transition to in-class practice with AEDs on CPR mannequins with student pairs, e) clean-up, and f) exit ticket 

Class period days: 1-4 = didactic / practical training

Class period day: 5 = summative assessment by instructor/teacher

Lesson Times

Five (5) Class Periods or 250 minutes
5 Class Periods

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Health Science and Medical Technology Health Science and Medical Technology
    • Patient Care
    • Public and Community Health
K-12 Subjects
  • Science
    • Life Sciences
  • Physical / Health Education
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Adult

Standards and Objectives


California's 2013 CTE Standards (5)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will be able to identify and summarize major life events as they impact health care practices and patient outcomes in adult, adolescent and child, and infant cardiac arrest events requiring the use of an automated external defibrillator.
  • Students will be able to explain the principles of body mechanics associated with the use of an automated external defibrillator in adults, adolescents and children, and infants and note their findings in a journal.
  • Students will be able to follow and document in their journals appropriate guidelines for implementation of automated external defibrillators in adult, adolescent and child, and infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation procedures.
  • Students will be able to practice the didactic examination certification portion in emergency care for automated external defibrillator use in adult, adolescent and child, and infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior to summative evaluation, noting salient points in their journal.
  • Students will be able to check their understanding of AED use in conjunction with Adult, Adolescent and Child, and Infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) methodology prior to summative evaluation. Gaps in knowledge can then be noted in their journals.

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