Automated External Defibrillators

AED lock box

Updated April 12, 2024

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are electronic devices designed to recognize cardiac arrhythmias and treat them through defibrillation, an electrical therapy shock that allows the heart to reestablish its proper rhythm.

Modern AEDs are designed to administer the shock only if an abnormal rhythm is detected and will prompt the user with step-by-step audible or visual cues.

AED locations

You can view a map of AED locations at the UW and in King County on the PulsePoint website.

To locate the nearest AED to your location, you can download the PulsePoint AED application for your smartphone (available for free download for Apple and Android phones). It allows the user to view AED locations throughout the United States and Canada. It includes basic information such as hours of operation, specific location, and even a photo of the AED if available. 

The UW Police Department officers carry AEDs in their vehicles on the Seattle campus. UW Bothell and UW Tacoma Security Officers carry AEDs in their vehicles.

EH&S maintains an inventory of AEDs on the Seattle campus. Contact EH&S to locate the AED nearest your work location, or if you have an existing AED and want to confirm it is in the University inventory.

While there are some exceptions, state and local law does not require AEDs be provided in buildings. University units and departments may choose to purchase their own.

AED use

If a cardiac event occurs:

  1. Call 9-1-1 and identify yourself as being on the Seattle campus prior to attempting to use the AED on the person.
  2. After the AED is opened and applied to a person, contact the local public health agency.
    1. In Seattle, call the King County Community AED Program Manager at (206) 477-8664.
  3. Notify Environmental Health & Safety
    1. During EH&S business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday) call (206) 543-7262.
    2. Outside of EH&S business hours, call the UW Police Department at (206) 685-8973 to reach EH&S on-call staff.

These are critical steps for you to take in assisting the emergency medical services system to improve medical care and treatment from sudden cardiac arrest and increase chances of survival. 

Modern AEDs can provide a printout of a patient's heart rhythms pre- and post-shock. Responding emergency medical system crews may take the AED when transporting a patient or contact a user for follow up to retrieve this information.

Unit responsibilities

Organizational units that procure an AED must designate an AED coordinator who is responsible for ensuring the AED is registered and maintained properly, employees who are likely to use it are trained, AED use is reported, and records are kept.

Refer to the Automated External Defibrillators Focus Sheet for more information.

EH&S responsibilities

Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) assists University units with compliance with RCW 70.54.310 including:

  • Procurement of AEDs
  • Medical direction (instructions on use)
  • Registration of AEDs
  • Training
  • Maintenance
  • Reporting use

EH&S maintains AED information on its website and serves as the point of contact to assist organizational units that want to procure an AED.

More Information