Using an AED is an important, life-changing skill, but it’s only effective if you are able to apply what you have learned in a real-life emergency:
- Is it 15 compressions, or 30?
- Do you still breath?
- Maybe it’s a chest thump or AED?
- Where is the AED?
These are very real thoughts that can go through the mind of even the best trained employee and uncertainty is one of the biggest barriers to actually taking action. That’s why it’s important to make sure your teams are trained on the availability and use of the specific AEDs that are available at your facilities.
AED Availability and Awareness Saves Lives
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock delivered can realign an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume in the heart during sudden cardiac arrest. Their impact can be profound:
- 1,700 lives are saved in the US alone each year by bystanders using an AED
- Communities with comprehensive AED programs have achieved close to 40% survival rates for heart attacks
If your organization does have an AED, it is important that you know your specific AED state laws.
Implementing an Effective AED Program
Availability of AEDs is not enough, your organization must also have an effective AED program. An effective AED program may include:
Getting a prescription and advice from a physician
Coordinating with local EMS
Choosing an appropriate AED
Assessing program and technical support from AED manufacturer
Strategic placement of AEDs
Developing a training plan specific to your AED devices
Awareness raising and on-going education
Implementing a maintenance schedule