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Wall Posters Show Them How to Shock

You’ve seen them at public pools and near restaurant kitchens: wall posters that show bystanders how to fish someone out of the water and perform rescue breathing, or apply the Heimlich maneuver to relieve choking. The idea behind these posters is to promote awareness of a needed skill and to reinforce learning in those who have been trained. It makes so much sense OSHA requires them.

Yet until recently, there was no equivalent diagram to accompany automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public access settings, which tend to be stowed somewhere without even a sign describing what they are.

Marcelo Oliver, a medical illustrator and concerned father, questioned the wisdom of that void when he spotted an unmarked AED in the front office of his son’s school. Imagining a scenario where one was needed out on the playing field, he says, “If somebody said, ‘Quick, go get the AED,’ the average lay person would be like, ‘What’s that and where is it?’” He decided to change that.

DefibPosters are the result. Oliver’s series of five richly illustrated wall posters can be used to mark the location of a public access defibrillator (PAD) and offer a quick overview of its purpose that is easy to understand even in an emergency. Published by his Chicago-based medical education, marketing and technology company, Strategic Velocity Inc., these posters don’t convey a terrible shocking situation, he says. Instead, “they’re more about the person responding—what they should do and what their reactions might be—in hopes they’ll be more comfortable intervening.”

All five explain what’s at stake in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), says Oliver, including why it’s important to act as quickly as possible and four basic steps to take: Call 9-1-1; start CPR; use the defibrillator as soon as you get it; and get the paramedics to the scene.

“Then each one says something different,” he says. “One explains in basic terms what defibrillation is; one talks about what an SCA is; one talks about rescue anatomy, like where you take a pulse, where the rib cage is located, where the sternum is; and the last two are a 1-2-3 of how to use an AED and a bigger drawing to reiterate the basic steps.”

They can be displayed in schools, businesses, community centers, high-rise buildings or wherever a defibrillator is located. The 18" x 23" full-color posters can also be customized for specific devices, or for training or promotional purposes.

For more information, visit, or call 847/383-5006.

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