Once your AED is switched on and attached to the casualty –
A Fully-Automatic AED will instruct you to stand clear of the patient and after a 3, 2, 1 countdown will automatically deliver the shock.
A Semi-Automatic AED will instruct you to stand clear of the patient and press the shock button (most shock buttons will flash to make the button obvious)
Both Fully-Automated and Semi-Automated AED’s are simple and safe to use with verbal prompts that carefully guide you through the rescue process.
Once you turn on your AED typically by pressing the on/of button or opening the lid of the device it will verbally guide you through the rescue process until you have sucessfully attached the electrode pads to the casualty (some AED’s also have video instruction or visual graphics and icons to show you what to do). Once the pads are firmly attached to your casualty the AED will instruct you NOT to touch the patient! This is so it can analyse the electrical activity within the heart and decide if a shock is required or not. If the AED advises that a shock is required just stand clear and the Fully-Automated AED will deliver the shock or if using a Semi-Automated device just press the shock button. And don’t worry if the casualty does not require a shock the AED will not shock.
So is Fully-Automated better than Semi-Automated? Not necessarily and this is a matter of personal opinion but a Semi-Automated AED does not need to give a 3,2,1 countdown and can typically give a shock 3 seconds faster than a Fully-Automated AED (this is assuming same brand and model of AED).