AED units on aircraft are becoming more widespread and the UK Resus Council on their website have added some useful information and they have added a video from the BBC where AED's are discussed. Airline staff are trained in basic first aid and they have been carrying first aid kits since 2004 but the introduction of AED units has been slower for European carriers.
AED units are becoming widely available but why do we have them? Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of premature death in the UK, but with immediate treatment, many lives can be saved. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs because the electrical rhythm that controls the heart is replaced by a chaotic disorganised electrical rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). The quicker VF can be treated by defibrillation with an AED unit, the greater the chance of successful resuscitation.