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ESF – 480 Oak Road
Stanford, CA 94305-8007
650.725.2129; fax: 650.723.1373


Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Program

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) are a proven method of reducing morbidity and mortality from sudden cardiac arrest (heart attack). An AED is a device that attaches to a victim’s chest to assess the heart’s rhythm and, if needed, automatically recommends whether or not a shock be delivered to correct the heart’s rhythm. An adult who has just gone into sudden cardiac arrest is most likely in urgent need of defibrillation and a metered electrical charge can often restore the heart to healthy function and save a life. To provide a realistic chance of survival, defibrillation must be available soon after cardiac arrest.

The automatic external defibrillator (AED) will enable University personnel or the public who are trained in First Aid/CPR/AED to deliver early defibrillation to victims in the first critical moments after a sudden cardiac arrest. Responder’s use of the AED should not replace the care provided by emergency medical service (EMS) providers but it is meant to provide a lifesaving bridge during the first few critical minutes it takes for advanced life support providers to arrive. Upon arrival of the EMS providers, patient care should be transferred.

The EH&S Department acts as the administrator for the Stanford University Automatic External Defibrillator Program and is responsible for:

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers for the FAQs


What kind of medical oversight is there for Stanford’s AED Program?

The AED Program has a Medical Director who is responsible for the review and approval of the training program as well as the protocols of AED use and the certification process. The Medical Director reviews every event in which an AED is used and is available to conduct post-incident sessions for University employees involved in AED use. AED units at Stanford University are used under the direction of Richard Wittman, MD.

Who coordinates the AED Program?

The interm program coordinator for the AED Program is Aaron McCarthy. As the interm program manager he serves as the point of contact for Stanford University and is available in person, by phone or e-mail to answer any questions from individuals interested in the program. Aaron can be reached at 725-3268 or at

How can I be trained in the use of an AED?

Stanford University faculty and staff interested in being trained in the use of an AED should contact Janice Chiavetta, Administrative Assistance at EH&S. If your building is equipped with an AED you will be referred to your local Site Coordinator. The Site Coordinators are responsible for scheduling training sessions for their department’s staff. If your building does not yet have an AED you can attend any certified CPR course that complies with the American Heart Association or American Red Cross standards and includes the AED segment. Janice can be reached at 723-0448 or at

How can I get an AED in my building?

If you are interested in having an AED unit installed in your building first contact your Building Manager. Each department is responsible for the purchase, maintenance and training costs associated with the AED unit. If you are a Building Manager contact the AED Program Coordinator to arrange for a presentation or to request a price quote.

How much does an AED unit cost?

The list price for an AED unit is approximately $1500. AED units purchased for Stanford through the Phillips Distributor, Health Education Services can enjoy a 20% discount. The discount also applies to all accessories purchased which can include spare batteries, spare pads, signs and alarmed cabinets.

Are there any on-going costs to support the AED once I purchase one?

There are two types of on-going costs to support your AED unit, equipment and training. The batteries and the pads for the AED unit have an approximate 2 year shelf life and will need to be replaced when they expire. Also if the AED unit is used you will need to replace the unit’s battery and pads before it can be put back into service. Training sessions in CPR/AED are required to be conducted every other year. An AED refresher course is required the year after your CPR/AED training.