Proper AED Pad Placement

An AED is the only device that will save a life if someone falls victim to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is when the heart abruptly stops beating usually due to an electrical disturbance in the heart that disrupts the pumping action. 

    If you find yourself in a position where you must use an AED on someone whose heart has stopped beating, first you must stay calm and follow the prompts on the AED.  The prompts are very easy to follow and are made for people who are untrained and have never used an AED before. 

     First, the AED will instruct you to call 911.  Then it will advise you to remove all clothing from the victim’s chest. At that point, the AED prompts will instruct you to put the pads on the victim.  There will be a picture on the pads showing you where to place them.  The pad placement for an adult is a little different from a child 8 years old or younger.

AED Pad Placement for Adults

For proper AED pad placement ensure the victim's chest is dry and they are on a firm flat surface. Remove any clothes, jewelry, or other items that may interfere with the AED. Remove the electrode pads from the sterile packaging and follow the steps bellow

  1. Remove all clothing and jewelry. 
  2. Place one electrode pad on the right side of the victim's chest above the nipple and below the collarbone.
  3. Place the second pad on the victim's left side just below the nipple. 

This placement of electrodes is referred to as anterolateral AED pad placement. AED pads can also be placed on the back of an individual to avoid wounds, pacemakers, or other obstructions, this is referred to as anteroposterior AED pad placement. 

  1. Place one electrode pad on the back left side of the spine at heart level.
  2.  Place the second electrode pad between the midline of the chest and the nipple. 

Once the AED pads have been correctly placed follow the instruction on the AED.

AED Pad Placement for Child under 8

     For a child who is 8 or younger, pediatric electrode pads will need to be used. All clothes and jewelry will first need to be removed and the child should be placed on a hard flat surface.


  1.  Place one pad on the back between the shoulder blades (see picture),
  2.  Place the second electrode pad on the  front of the child’s chest between the nipples (see picture).  For everyone else, one of the pads will go on the front of the chest above the right nipple, and the other will be on the left side of the chest below the breast area (see picture).     

     At this point the AED will analyze if the patient needs a shock or not.  If the patient needs a shock, the AED will continue to give you prompts on exactly what to do next. The most important thing is to continue to stay calm, listen, and follow the simple instructions that are being given to you by the AED. 

Please call or email us if you have any questions.