AED Pad Placement

AED Pad Placement


The proper AED pad placement on a Sudden Cardiac Arrest victim is one of the most important steps for a rescuer when trying to save a life.

Owners of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) by default have made one of the best investments possible by just purchasing a device. After all, nearly 1,000 people a day suffer a sudden and usually warning-free health emergency called Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Only around 10% of victims survive the episode.

In an emergency, every second counts as the victim’s chances of survival dwindle by the minute. Therefore, it is crucial to know exactly how to place the AED pads on a victim with a range of possible variables in mind.

The placement of the pads on the body is important because it helps ensure that the electrical current from the defibrillator passes through the heart in the most effective way possible. When a person experiences cardiac arrest, their heart may be in a state of abnormal electrical activity, which can be corrected with a defibrillator shock.

However, for the shock to be effective, it needs to be delivered in the right way. Placing the pads in the correct positions can help ensure that the shock is delivered in a way that is most likely to be successful.

AED Pads come with instructions that are intended to make their use as easy and simple to understand as possible. Both pads should be placed on the front of the chest, with one pad above the right nipple and the other pad placed on the left side, below the chest.

What is Anteroposterior AED Pad Placement?

Anteroposterior AED Pad Placement is placing an electrode pad on the chest and the other on the back. This is usually how AED pads are placed on infants.

Anterior Lateral Placement is when an AED pad is placed on opposite sides of the chest.

This means that one pad will be placed above the nipple on the victim’s right-hand side of the chest, just below the clavicle (collar bone). The other pad is placed below the victim’s left nipple. This pad is placed lower, below the left nipple, and more to the side of the chest.

Anterior Posterior Pad Placement

Anterior-posterior (AP) pad placement refers to the position of the pads on a defibrillator when they are being used to deliver a shock to a person experiencing cardiac arrest. The “anterior” pad is placed on the person’s chest, in the area of their sternum, while the “posterior” pad is placed on their back, in the area of their spine.

AED Pads for victims with Pacemakers

Victims with pacemakers are those with pre-existing heart conditions and thus are at higher risk for SCA. However, AEDs may be used on victims with pacemakers already fitted without the concern of an AED failing to operate properly.

AED Pads on Infants

Infant AED Pads are designed to give a shock that uses a lower amount of electricity than regular adult pads. For children 55 lbs. or less, pediatric pads are advised. If no pediatric pads or a pediatric key are available, adult pads can be used by placing one pad on the chest and one on the back of the victim.

AED Pad Placement on Children

It is important to follow the instructions provided by the AED and any additional guidelines provided by a healthcare provider or trained medical professional.

In general, the placement of the AED pads on a child’s body will be similar to the placement on an adult’s body. The “anterior” pad is typically placed on the child’s chest, in the area of their sternum, while the “posterior” pad is placed on their back, in the area of their spine.

However, it is important to note that the specific placement of the pads may vary depending on the size and age of the child, as well as the specific type of AED is used.

If the victim is over 55 lbs., normal adult pads can be used in the same manner.


The Pads must be applied directly to the skin, meaning clothing must be removed from the area to ensure the device works properly.


Jewelry or any metallic object should be removed before starting the defibrillation process. It is vital to ensure the pads to not come into contact with jewelry as this may cause serious harm to the victim. Necklaces, nipple piercings, and other accessories around the chest area must be taken into consideration.

Where can I buy new or replacement AED pads?

You can purchase new or replacement AED pads online with our lowest price guarantee. Orders over $99 receive free shipping. Unsure which type of pad you need? Give our customer service team a call at 866-450-9906.

Struggling with compliance? Check out our AED Site Assessment Tools in the Resource Center to discover what you need.  

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How To Deploy AED Pads

  1. Locate the AED machine and open the carrying case.
  2. Turn on the AED and follow the prompts on the screen.
  3. Remove the victim’s clothing from the chest area to expose the bare skin.
  4. Peel the backing off of the AED pads and place one pad on the upper right side of the victim’s chest and the other pad on the lower left side of the victim’s chest.
  5. Connect the pads to the AED machine by plugging in the connectors on the pads to the corresponding ports on the machine.
  6. Clear the victim’s chest of any debris, excess body hair or moisture, if necessary.
  7. Stand back and wait for the AED to analyze the victim’s heart rhythm. The AED will give verbal prompts and instructions on what to do next.
  8. If a shock is advised, press the shock button on the AED and stand back.
  9. After the shock, the AED will prompt you to start CPR. Follow the instructions provided by the AED for performing CPR.
  10. Continue to follow the prompts and instructions provided by the AED until emergency medical services arrive.

It’s important to note that this is a simplified version of the process and that operating an AED requires adequate training and practice. In an emergency situation, you should also call emergency services and follow their instructions and guidance.

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