Early defibrillation for cardiac arrest patients is a formidable link in the chain of survival promulgated by the American Heart Association. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) provide public access defibrillation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and improve survivability. AEDs are only approved for use in patients in cardiac arrest; defibrillation may be inadvertently advised if utilized on a patient not experiencing cardiac arrest. We describe a case report of an AED cardioversion of a stable, pediatric patient with acute supraventricular tachycardia secondary to underlying Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. We discuss general AED principles, the cardioversion function on the particular AED used in this encounter, and the importance of community and organizational policies to encourage the correct application of AEDs.
Keywords: automated external defibrillator; supraventricular tachycardia; synchronized cardioversion.