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The VU Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Program

What is an AED?

An Automatic External Defribrillator (AED) is a portable medical device that can be used to save people who are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.  When someone trained in how to provide CPR and use an AED attaches the two electrode pads to the victim's chest, the AED checks and analyzes the heart rhythm to determine if attempting an electric shock might help.  If the AED computer determines that a shock could be effective, it will then instruct the rescuer to shock the heart in an attempt to restore the heart to normal rhythm.

These devices save millions of lives every year, and Vanderbilt University has installed AEDs in many locations on our campus. Click here for a Campus map of AED Locations. 

Vanderbilt University's AED Program

The use of AEDs is governed by federal, state and local law.  Tennessee State Law 68-140-4 mandates that facilities with AEDs must have an AED management program.  In order to comply with all applicable laws, in 2012 Vanderbilt University officials selected an AED management company, Premedics, to supply AED management support and service on the VU campus.  The VU campus AED program is coordinated by Caitlyn French in the Vanderbilt Office of Emergency Management.

Departmental AED Managment Responsibilities

All Vanderbilt University department AED owners must identify an AED manager.  The AED manager is responsible for making sure that all departmental AEDs are enrolled in the VU AED management program.  The AED manager must also perform monthly checks of each AED unit and enter inspection results into the Premedics web-based management system.

Purchase an AED for your Department

Start-up costs for a new AED unit, including the unit itself and associated costs such as signage and installation, are approximately $2,500, plus additional annual costs.  The purchasing department is responsible for all initial and ongoing costs associated with their AED units.

If your department is interested in purchasing an AED, contact the AED Coordinator, Caitlyn French, by email at After determining your needs, we will work with your department and Vanderbilt's AED management company (Premedics) to complete the order process.  All AED purchases must be approved by the AED Coordinator.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's AED Program

Vanderbilt University Medical Center manages AEDs at all VUMC campus locations.  For more information about the VUMC AED program, please visit their website

Get Training in CPR and the use of AEDs

CPR/AED training is not currently offered on campus. The American Red Cross and Premedics provide training for these life-saving skills. 

All departmental personnel working in areas where AED available are strongly encouraged to send designated departmental personnel to CPR/AED training.

More information about AEDs

See also the VU Emergency Guide for Medical Emergencies.


Questions? Contact us