Cardiovascular Risks: Is Your Job a Factor?

Industries and sectors with an elevated risk of heart disease

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, heart disease is the most common cause of death among both the working and non-working population.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) estimates approximately 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests strike while individuals are in the workplace each year. And many risk factors are based on a person’s lifestyle, including their work environment. Different industries present varying degrees of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Risk factors such as diet and exercise are controllable, however, for some professions, the risks are intrinsic to the job.

4 job-related risk factors for heart disease

Before delving into the specific industries, it’s important to understand conditions that can contribute to poor cardiovascular health.

  1. Chemicals. High levels of exposure to chemicals such as carbon disulfide, methylene chloride, and nitrate esters are thought to contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  2. Stress. Whether it stems from demanding supervisors or clients, excessive workloads, or tedium, most jobs come equipped with built-in stressors. Studies have shown a relationship between work-related stress and cholesterol concentrations, as well as the development of CVD.
  3. Exposure to extreme temperatures. For workers already suffering from CVD, workplace exposure to heat can cause a reduction in blood supply to the heart. On the other side of the extreme, working in cold storage or freezing weather may cause coronary artery spasms even in otherwise healthy people.
  4. Noise. Extensive exposure to noise over 80 decibels can cause an increase in blood pressure. Additional factors include unpredictable loud noises and noises that are disharmonious or don’t contribute to the job in a meaningful way, such as in factories or on construction sites.

4 high-risk industries

Each field contains its own blend of the above-mentioned risk factors. The following industries are thought to be at greatest risk for CVD.

  1. Hospitality. In addition to the stress associated with customer demands, those employed by hotels, restaurants, and bars tend to work irregular shifts. The disruption of sleep patterns presented by inconsistent schedules has been shown to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  2. Desk jobs. While not a specific industry, sitting at a desk all day can affect how our bodies process glucose and burn fat. Multiple studies suggest that sitting for more than half the day doubles the risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
  3. Protective services. A CDC study reported that 90 percent of police, firefighters, and security guards are overweight; 77 percent had high cholesterol, and 35 percent suffered hypertension (high blood pressure). In addition, these professions also present officers and firefighters with life-or-death situations that contribute to stress-related CVD.
  4. Wholesale. While the direct link to heart disease in this field is unclear, long hours may contribute to the 2.9 percent of workers in the field who suffered heart disease or stroke.

How to protect Florida’s workers

Changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise, can significantly reduce the risk of CVD. While such changes are up to the individual, there are ways companies can contribute to employee health through wellness programs, as well as prepare for job-site heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrests. CPR training and on site automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) can increase survival rates by up to 70%.

One Beat CPR + AED offers individual and group training courses in both CPR and AED use. For more information about our American Heart Association-authorized training centers, we encourage you to connect with us online or at 954-321-5305.

These Foods Will Hurt Your Heart

These Foods Will Hurt Your Heart on

If it’s fast and convenient – and mass produced – you probably want to make it a treat rather than a regular part of your diet.

Stop it, you’re killing me! Your heart isn’t complimenting you on your great taste in jokes. It’s sending you a silent plea to stop chowing down on certain foods that are basically shortening your life by making it very difficult for your heart to do its job.

Not all food is created equal. You already know this. It’s impossible not to reach a certain age and have heard about what overconsumption of saturated fats or even sodium can do to your heart and cardiovascular system. There’s no reason, though, to remove all the joy from eating in order to be healthy. You’re about to read a list of foods that really are heart-killers—which simply means you should make them occasional treats instead of a part of your regular diet.

A burger from your favorite fast-food chain

Okay, the debate rages on about whether there’s a true correlation between heart disease and saturated fats from red meat. There are also interesting results from studies showing that high-quality grass-fed beef might have some heart-health benefits—when consumed in moderation.

While the debate continues, do your heart a favor and avoid fast-food burgers. They taste good, but it’s often because of processed ingredients to compensate for lower quality beef and unhealthy cooking methods. Saturated fats from animal meats combined with carbohydrates—which is the “TLDNR” recipe for the average fast-food burger—appear to have a negative impact on heart health.

Deep-fried anything

Crunch, crunch. It’s the texture as much as the taste. We love fried foods, but those French fries don’t love our hearts. A growing number of studies have linked fried foods to an increased risk of heart disease. Here’s why.

Conventional frying creates a certain type of fat known as trans fats. These fats have been shown to elevate our bad cholesterol level, while suppressing the good cholesterol. So, we lose out in both directions when we help ourselves to more fried chicken.

Does this mean abandoning fried foods altogether? Take a deep breath and continue with your stir-fry at home. You’re likely using either coconut oil (the latest rage) or olive oil. These are not the same oils that are used in bulk by fast-food franchises and casual food restaurant chains.

Sweet surrender

Sprinkling a spoonful of sugar on your morning cereal isn’t the largest source of sugar in your diet. It likely doesn’t come from the food you eat at all. Most of it comes from that can or bottle of soda you had at lunch. Or, maybe in lieu of coffee for breakfast.

Don’t be so quick to congratulate yourself if you opted for a container of fruit juice instead of a soda. Read the label and you just might find that the juice has been sweetened with either sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

While sugary drinks tend to make up our overload of the sweet stuff, most mass-produced cookies and pastries are just as unhealthy. They taste so great because they’re full of sugar, plus either partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (a trans-fat) or either butter or palm oil (saturated fats).

The cure is bad for you

Why do we love bacon? It’s an operatic ode to saturated fat. Yes, it’s true that you can find an interesting selection of low-fat cured meats and cold cuts. But how are they made in order to compete with the full-fat versions? Crank up the sodium content—and not just a smidgen.

The American Heart Association reports that 6 thin slices of deli meat—about the amount you’ll find on a fast-food chain sandwich, loads you up with half of the amount of sodium you should consume in a whole day.

The heart connection to sodium is simple. It’s important that you watch—and even restrict—your salt intake because of sodium’s link to high blood pressure. Having your doctor tell you that you have high blood pressure doesn’t mean a mandatory regimen of medication. You may—with your doctor’s help—be able to manage high blood pressure just by eating fewer high-sodium foods.



Alas, yes. But does this really surprise you? If you visited the American Heart Association link above, you know that pizza ranks #2 on its list of salty foods. This is especially true for the beloved “meat-lovers” type of pizza.

It’s a potent unhealthy combination of sodium and saturated fat. Bump up the bad numbers by adding more cheese and meat toppings. Feel free to refuse to give up pizza. It’s your right as an American. But, do practice restraint and limit yourself to just a couple of slices. Okay, maybe an extra slice—if you go for veggie toppings.

Good grief, now that we’ve rained all over the feel-good fast-food parade, isn’t there any ray of sunshine that can be shared as a parting gift? These heart-healthy eating warnings are brought to you by the letter “M.” It stands for moderation.

There’s no reason why you should forever keep the kiss of a crispy piece of chicken from your lips. Eat it often, though, and both your heart—and your hips—with pay a price.

One Beat CPR + AED provides AHA CPR certifications for groups and individuals. Our programs cover advanced, basic, and infant CPR courses. For more information, or to sign up for classes, contact us today!

Why Do Some Businesses Hesitate to Install AEDs?

Why Do Some Businesses Hesitate to Install AEDs? on

Bottom line: Automatic External Defibrillators save lives. Here’s what every Florida business owner needs to know

In October of 2017, Pick ‘N Save employees resuscitated a dying customer thanks to an in-store AED. A few years earlier, a 19 year-old Canadian man used an AED to save a little league baseball game attendee. Two teachers saved a student’s life at middle school in Texas thanks to an onsite AED in 2011. The Internet is flooded with stories of how automated external defibrillators (AEDs) made the difference between life and death.

According to OSHA, of the 6,628 workplace fatalities reported to their organization in 2001 and 2002, as many as 60% of them might have been prevented by onsite AEDs. The American College of Cardiology provides similar numbers: “AEDs in specific study locations like casinos and airports have shown high survival rates for patients with a shockable initial rhythm, ranging from 53% to 61%.”

So, why aren’t more businesses following the OSHA recommendation to install AEDs?

The pros and cons of on-site AEDs

Thanks to television and movies, most people are familiar with AEDs – they’re the “electric paddles” used to shock the heart back into rhythm. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. The “automated” aspect refers to what the device does prior to the shock: an analysis of the heart’s rhythm to determine if defibrillation is needed. Thanks to this automation, unnecessary shocks are virtually nonexistent.

Although complicated on the inside, AEDs can be used without extensive medical training, making their life-saving functionality accessible to anyone trained in their use and many who simply read the directions during an emergency. Despite this user-friendliness, there’s been some debate about their installation in the workplace.

Why some businesses are reluctant to install workplace AEDs

While the lifesaving benefits of AEDs are conclusive, in today’s litigious culture, very few issues are as simple as perhaps they should be. The following are some of the obstacles preventing business owners from making a lifesaving decision.

Safety concerns. There are worries about untrained bystanders to an emergency misusing an AED, such as on a child less than 8 years old, or under 55 pounds in weight.

Legal fears. According to the American Heart Association, companies and organizations are concerned about their liability for getting and using AEDs. All 50 states and the District of Columbia now include using an AED as part of their Good Samaritan laws. The Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2000 encourages placement of AEDs in federal buildings and ensures federal liability protection for those who acquire or use an AED to help save a life. In addition, this act provides limited immunity to persons using the AED and the purchaser of the AED device. These acts vary by state, but generally, they limit the liability of rescuers using AEDs and others involved in the AED program. Read the Good Samaritan Act for your state for more specific information and be sure to have your legal counsel and, if appropriate, your risk management or safety team review your program.

Why businesses should welcome AEDs

The legal concerns involving AEDs in the workplace are understandable – but only on the surface. Here’s why:

Training is inexpensive and quick. Concerns about AED safety shouldn’t outweigh the potential for saving lives. Many American Heart Association certified training facilities offer corporate training courses in both CPR and AEDs, thereby significantly decreasing the likelihood of misuse.

Liabilities are overstated. A vast majority of lawsuits involving AEDs are file for their absence rather than misuse. The overarching principle is that many cardiac arrest victims are already technically deceased or likely to die, therefore, AEDs aren’t known to cause further harm. In support of this view, the federal Cardiac Arrest Survival Act, along with Good Samaritan laws, provide limited immunity to those who attempt to use an AED to save a life.

South Florida AED programs

Once a business owner decides to install AEDs, it’s important to identify the proper unit for their location and a qualified training facility. One Beat CPR + AED has been providing AED and CPR training that’s as affordable as it is enjoyable for over 12 years. We offer individual as well as group courses, both at the workplace or in one of our state-of-the-art Florida training centers.

For more information on purchasing the right AED for your business, we encourage you to connect with us online, or call us at 954-321-5305.

What is Corporate CPR Training? Should You Do It?

What is Corporate CPR Training? Should You Do It? on

Corporate CPR training removes the logistics issues that often cause the biggest reason for non-attendance. You’ll raise the level of participation when you make it convenient.

This is a tragic statistic: Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death if you are 40 or older. Here’s something even more tragic. Most of the people who experience sudden cardiac arrest die because they don’t get the right type of medical attention within minutes.

These people die because no one around them knows what to do—and something as simple as CPR and/or the use of an AED may have saved their life. OSHA reports that nearly 10,000 cardiac arrests occur in the workplace each year, and they tend to happen between 6am and noon. You probably just got a pretty good idea of the importance of corporate CPR training from what you just read.

The frustrating thing about CPR training

Learning how to administer CPR and use an AED are fairly easy. There’s no reason why every adult shouldn’t know how to do it. Think of how many of those 10,000 people could be saved each year if their coworkers had lifesaving training.

In a perfect corporate world, everyone would be CPR and AED certified. We don’t live in a perfect corporate world, but we can come close—corporate training programs can bridge this education gap.

The simple solution

“No time for that.” It’s what you’d likely hear from some employees if you told them that they had to be at a certain place at a certain time to learn how to administer CPR. It’s not that they don’t care about others, it’s just that all of us are already stretched for time.

Corporate CPR training flips that obstacle upside-down. Nobody has to go anywhere. The training is done at your place of business.

Yes, it’s mandatory

Suddenly, it’s much easier to make CPR certification a requirement. Corporate CPR training removes the logistics issues that often cause the biggest reason for non-attendance. You’ll raise the level of participation when you make it convenient.

It’s also going to be more comfortable for your people. The training happens in your offices—on your home turf—with the participants being just your staff. A side effect of the program is the team building that this shared purpose facilitates.

Adding another acronym to CPR

You’ve likely seen a growing number of automated external defibrillators—AEDs—in workplaces you’ve visited. When combined with the administration of CPR, these amazing devices have been shown to exponentially increase sudden cardiac arrest survival rates.

Investing in AEDs for your business is a smart idea, but it gets dumbed down if no one working there knows how to employ it or is comfortable using the device. This is another reason why corporate training is a great idea. The AED is right there on the wall, and your staff can learn how to use it at the same time they’re being certified to administer CPR.

Corporate training will show your employees that using an AED is actually very simple. Compared to administering CPR, it’s also far less physically draining.

We’re far from having perfect corporate worlds where everyone knows how to use an AED and has a CPR certification. This is one goal we should strive to attain, though. It takes more time and effort to learn how to type quickly than it does to learn CPR. The former means you can take dictation or reply to a coworker’s email. The latter would allow you to save their life.

One Beat CPR + AED has been providing AED and CPR training that’s as affordable as it is enjoyable for over 17 years. We offer individual as well as group courses, both at the workplace or in one of our state-of-the-art Florida training centers.

For more information, we encourage you to connect with us online or call us at 954-321-5305.

What is a System of Care? on

What is a System of Care?

How it works and how it saves lives

The heart is a beautiful blend of simplicity and complexity. On the surface, pumping blood is a two-step “blood in, blood out” procedure, yet there is an incredibly complex machine that makes it happen. This description also applies to the system of care (SOC) that revolves around treating a cardiac event. It’s the singular goal to get an irregular heart back in working order, but there are numerous actions and skill levels involved in the process.

The SOC for heart issues can be broken into four main parts: The witnessing and reporting of an event to 911 – as well as onsite CPR or AED intervention – the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS), admittance to a primary care facility, and the recuperative stage (which may involve a further care facility). Like the heart itself, every part must work efficiently and harmoniously, from concerned and proactive bystanders to fully-trained response teams and doctors, nurses, and counselors.

SOC Stage 1

Notification and intervention from a bystander is where the SOC begins. It could be a family member, friend, co-worker, or stranger who makes the call to 911 and ideally starts CPR, but it will usually be a family member since the vast majority of heart issues occur at home. Alerting 911 is an essential act, and so is initiating CPR and using an AED, if one is available. It’s these latter, initial responses to a cardiac event that could be improved greatly.

Only 30% of Americans have effective CPR training. With the right classes, that’s not a statistic that needs to stay that way, however. A well-trained bystander can double or triple the chances of an individual surviving a cardiac emergency.

SOC Stage 2

Emergency medical services are up next. Their role is to provide medical assistance outside of a hospital environment. Highly-trained and experienced, the EMS team will keep a clear head and do everything possible to aid a patient before and during transport to a hospital. They’ll be able to assess any breathing or circulatory problems, provide oxygen and medication, and, in more serious cases, restart a patient’s heart. This is often achieved through EMS training in the use of AEDs (automated external defibrilators).

SOC Stage 3

Cardiac issues vary in their intensity and so the length of Stage 3, the hospital stay, varies. There will be a significant number of tests upon arrival at the hospital to get to the root of the problem and assess which medications will be effective in treating it. If surgery is required, this will of course require an extended stay and monitoring of a patient’s condition. One of the first questions every patient asks is when they can go home. On average, successful heart attack patients will spend from a day up to a week in the hospital, followed by a variable period of weeks to a few months before a return to a normal level of activity.

SOC Stage 4

Stage 4 is recuperation, and this is where the patients themselves become an invaluable member of the SOC. By this point, they will have been informed of the causes and effects of their cardiac incident. Their doctor will prescribe any necessary medication and advise on lifestyle changes which may be required. It’s how the patient chooses to adopt these recommendations that will truly define how effective stage 4 is, and arguably the entire SOC. Sadly, many Americans are readmitted within a month of a heart attack.

If patients choose to become a proactive part of the system, they’ll likely make dietary changes that will encourage cardiac and overall body health. This common-sense menu contains plenty of vegetables and fruits, low fat dairy products, skinless fish and poultry, and unsalted, lower saturated fat options across the board.

In some cases, a patient will be required to undertake cardiac rehab (CR). CR can take place both as an inpatient and an outpatient. Patients will keep in touch with a cardiologist and receive further education on their condition, ways to avoid repeat incidents, and counseling on dealing with the stresses and fears that can follow a cardiac issue. It can be a difficult period, but the cardiac rehab and the entire SOC can bring a patient back to health.


One Beat CPR is Florida’s leading CPR training center. A family-owned business with over 12 years of experience, we offer qualified instructional courses and the lowest AED and accessory prices in the industry. To learn more about our passion for life, you can call us at 954 321 5305 or toll free at 855 663 2328, or get in touch via our contact form.


CPR Training Does More Than Just Save Lives

CPR Training Does More Than Just Save Lives on

Why everyone should be CPR-certified

According to the New Holland Ambulance Association, the extremely low 6.4% cardiac arrest survival rate is largely due to witnesses not knowing how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, as well as the failure to employ an AED. While we tend to think of this emergency medical training as only being necessary for medical professionals, life guards, and fire fighters, learning CPR is simple enough that everyone should know it.

7 reasons you should be CPR-certified

CPR training is inexpensive and accessible. Certifications last two years, and while staying up to date with the latest American Heart Association guidelines is highly recommended, once you know CPR, you know it. Here are 7 reasons to become a hero, ASAP.

  1. It’s easy. If a kid can learn CPR, so can you! CPR can be performed by just about anyone, and the objective of quality training is to find a technique that works best with your specific limitations.
  2. Mouth to mouth is not always necessary. The AHA found that mouth to mouth resuscitation may prevent bystanders from applying CPR. Their concern is about not knowing how to do it properly or a hygienic reluctance to risk disease. In response and in light of the latest research on CPR efficacy, the latest AHA CPR guidelines promote a chest compression only technique in many cases.
  3. You might save someone you love. A vast majority of cardiac arrests occur while victims are at home. Chances are, if you ever have to use your CPR training, it’ll be on someone you care about.
  4. You’ll know how NOT to make things worse. CPR training not only teaches lifesaving techniques, it also instructs on when to apply them and how to prevent any further damage.
  5. You can save their mind too. Brain death can begin as soon as 4 minutes after the heart stops beating. When administered soon enough, CPR can help minimize the brain damage risks associated with cardiac arrest.
  6. Confidence. Knowing what to do in an emergency carries over into your general outlook of yourself and life – knowing how to save lives builds confidence for individuals, employees, and families.
  7. You get to use AEDs. Automated External Defibrillators are a portable version of the “shock paddles” you’ve probably seen countless times on television and movies. AEDs have come to play a more significant role in CPR training since the 1980s. More and more business are installing AEDs, and home units have been available for over 20 years.

Finding the right class for you

The American Heart Association reports that only 32% of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander. Think about all the lives that could be saved if everyone took it upon themselves to learn this vital skill – especially if more AEDs are available and employed.

One Beat CPR + AED provides AHA CPR certifications for groups and individuals. Our programs cover advanced, basic, and infant CPR courses. For more information, or to sign up for classes, contact us today!

The CPR Guidelines Have Changed!

The CPR Guidelines Have Changed! on

3 things you need to know about the latest updates

CPR has continued to evolve since first being recognized by the American Heart Association in 1960. The most substantial update to the guidelines in recent times is a revision from mouth to mouth and hand compressions, to just compressions, known as Hands-Only CPR, in certain cases requiring CPR. However, there’s a little more to it than that.

3 things you should know about the latest CPR guidelines

The AHA CPR Guidelines are updated every five years with the help of hundreds of medical professionals and the analysis of data provided by emergency services and hospitals. The American Heart Association’s continuous effort to monitor CPR implementation allows the organization to revise their techniques to in light of the latest knowledge on effective resuscitation.

Here’s what’s new in the most recent guidelines:

  1. Completing tasks simultaneously. The old guidelines called for more of a one step after another approach – check for responsiveness, assess breathing, call 911, check for a pulse, then begin CPR. The latest update compresses these tasks into three steps – call for help while checking for breathing and a pulse, use an automatic defibrillator as soon as possible, and, immediately activate an Emergency Response System if available.
  2. Chest compression rates. A 2015 study revealed that at the previously recommended 120 compressions per minute, rescuers weren’t able to maintain adequate pressure, creating a negative effect on venous return. In response, the AHA lowered its recommendation to 100-120 chest compressions per minute.
  3. Compression depth limit. Another study from back in 2013 reported that chest compressions deeper than 2.4 inches had a tendency to cause injury. The recent updates to the guidelines sets the minimum depth at 2 inches, and the maximum at 2.4.

Do you need to be certified?

AHA CPR certifications are good for up to two years –  and while the guidelines may not have changed in that period, it’s not necessary to re-certify unless yours is going to expire.

If you’ve never been certified in CPR training, there’s never a better time than now. Whether it means expanding your qualifications for new career horizons or just being prepared for an emergency, CPR certification is empowering.

One Beat CPR + AED is Florida’s premiere AHA training center. We offer hands-on classes for groups, and individuals, covering a diverse range of specialties, including automated defibrillator training. For more information on finding the right certification for you, your family, or your staff, contact us today!

The Top 3 Surprising Benefits of Employee CPR Training

The Top 3 Surprising Benefits of Employee CPR Training on

Morale, a culture of safety, and a benefit for the community

Is your company located 5 minutes or more away from an emergency medical facility? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires you to have one or more of your staff adequately trained to render first aid.

This federal agency goes on to recommend that every company should have one or more employees who are trained and certified in first aid, including CPR, regardless of the proximity to a health care facility. A federal requirement might be your impetus, but there are 3 surprising, additional benefits to a business that provides employee CPR training.

1. A shot in the arm for employee morale

Everybody’s looking for a way to combat the “I just work here” mentality that can hover like a dark cloud over a company. CPR and first aid training can be a way to boost your employee morale.

People retain information when it’s learned in an enjoyable way and CPR training classes take this to heart. Plus, most classes are designed to pair up learning teams. Group participation is encouraged and rewarded. When you offer CPR training, you’re creating an opportunity for your employees to interact and socialize. They’re sharing a learning experience which carries an important consequence. One day, they might apply what they’ve learned together to save a life.

2. Practically speaking

You’re not going to be able to affix a concrete number to this—either in terms of savings or efficiency—but there are dollars at stake. The initial training and refresher courses raise your entire company’s awareness of safety.

The consequence could be a decrease in the amount of accidents in the workplace. Accidents are—by their very nature—unexpected. Unimaginable things happen under the most ordinary of circumstances. A staff trained in CPR and first aid will lower the possibility of a serious—or even fatal—result because they now know how to take immediate action when an accident occurs.

The first aid kit isn’t going to be a container of unfamiliar contents in an emergency situation. This might seem trivial at first, but knowing the contents of a first aid kit and what to do with them can mean the difference between life or death in some circumstances. In others, the correct application of what’s in a first aid kit can reduce the recovery time of an accident victim. As a business owner or company manager, you want all of these things to happen.

3. Outside implications

Peripheral benefits can sometimes outweigh the direct ones that come to mind. When we think of CPR and first aid training, we usually consider what it means for employees on the premises during company hours. It’s certainly benefit enough—but that’s really just a beginning.

Training your employees how to administer CPR and first aid makes them a valuable contribution to the safety of their family and friends, as well as the community as a whole. It’s a skill you retain for life, and it’s easy to update or sharpen that skill with a refresher course.

Use the OSHA criteria to determine whether you’re required to providing CPR and first aid training for your staff. If you don’t have to and you’re not swayed by OSHA’s recommendation that you do it anyway, keep these 3 business benefits in mind. Do they equate to easily-measurable dollars? No. But the benefits could be far more valuable than a simple ROI calculation.

One Beat CPR provides AED and CPR training, along with AED units, so your staff can add “life saver” to their list of specialties. For more information on company and individual CPR and AED training packages, contact us today.

How do AEDs Work and Who Can Use Them?

How do AEDs Work and Who Can Use Them? on

Learn about this life-saving device and how it can save a life during sudden cardiac arrest


That’s how many people on average suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) every year in America. And while that statistic is troubling, even worse is the survival rate when this occurs outside of a hospital: 12 percent.

The good news is that when bystanders help someone going into cardiac arrest, that survival rate can be significantly higher. CPR is of course important in many situations, but easy access to an AED is critical when dealing with SCA.

What is an AED?

AED is short for automated external defibrillator. These are computerized devices that can quickly analyze the rhythms of the heart using electrodes. When a dangerous arrhythmia is detected, the AED delivers an electric current to the heart. This allows the heartbeat to be reset and return to a normal pattern.

When should an AED be used?

When someone collapses and is unresponsive, CPR should first be used, says the American Heart Association (AHS). If more than one person is present, someone should continue doing CPR while an AED is located. At that point, the AED can be utilized.

How difficult is an AED to use?

It may seem complicated, but an AED is designed to be extremely user-friendly. Once the electrodes are placed on the victim’s chest, the machine pretty much does the rest. Dr. Clifton Callaway, chair of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee of the AHS, compares it to a fire extinguisher.

“You shouldn’t really require advanced training or a class to know how to use a fire extinguisher,” Callaway says. “You should pull it off the wall and follow steps one, two and three.”

Who can use an AED?

When someone needs help in a movie or TV show, what often someone loudly asks if a doctor is available. In real life, if people wait for a medical professional before they do anything about a sudden cardiac arrest, that person is probably going to die. According to the Red Cross, the average response time for first responders is about 10 minutes. And for each minute that goes by without defibrillation, the rate of survival drops ten percent.

Almost anyone can use an AED, and you don’t really need to have any prior experience. A study even found that sixth graders can effectively use them without any training. This is why if someone is in distress, people shouldn’t hesitate to find and use an AED.

An AED class can help you prepare for an emergency

While training isn’t required to use an AED, it can be extremely useful. At One Beat CPR, our CPR classes include AED instruction. This will allow you to get familiar with the machine and see exactly how it works. Emergency situations can be scary, and a hands-on lesson offers excellent preparation.

If your business is planning to bring in an AED, we can help you figure out the right model and best location to place it. We can also supply your entire staff with onsite training. To get more information or to schedule a class, call us at 954-321-5305 or send us a message through our online contact form.

Sugar: Sweet on the Tongue but Poison for Your Heart?

Sugar: Sweet on the Tongue but Poison for Your Heart? on

Find out what all those snacks are doing to your ticker

Right now, we are entering over-eating season. Chances are you can put away quite a bit of food at Thanksgiving. Soon there will be holiday parties and dinners, not to mention all the delectable treats you will probably receive as gifts. It’s no wonder that once the New Year hits so many people resolve to lose weight.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing a little indulging, you may want to go easy on the sweet treats. Though it can be a nice add-on to a number of foods, excess sugar is actually pretty bad for us in a number of ways, and not just for our teeth and skin.

More sugar = more likely to go to an early grave

It is recommended that we get less than 10 percent of our calories from sugar, and a 15-year study highlights why exactly. It was discovered that participants who consumed 25 percent or more of their calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease, compared to those under the 10 percent threshold. This was true regardless of age, sex, or body-mass index.

Worse than saturated fats

When discussing things that lead to heart problems – like clogged arteries – saturated fats are usually cited as the main culprits. However, according to another study, excessive sugar consumption plays a bigger role in heart disease. Results showed that even after a few weeks of eating a diet high in sugar, a person will experience higher cholesterol levels, abnormal glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance.

What does sugar actually do to the body?

Sugar belly

What sounds like a fun little candy is actually a potentially deadly health issue. Extra weight around your middle could be a sign of metabolic syndrome. In addition to a big stomach, symptoms can include high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels, both of which can increase the risk of heart disease.

Overactive pancreas

Fructose is particularly harmful to the body. And when too much of it is consumed, the pancreas starts producing insulin to regulate blood sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause Type 2 Diabetes and has been linked to heart disease.


You can’t discuss the negative affects of sugar without mentioning diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, diabetic adults are two to four times more likely to die as the result of heart disease compared to adults without diabetes. This is because diabetes can easily lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and abnormal cholesterol.

Hopefully this information is helpful, especially the next time you think about grabbing a soda or reaching for a third cookie. On the positive side, even if you’re somewhat of a sugar junkie, there’s no reason you can’t start improving your diet immediately. And if you work or live with people who may not have the healthiest heart habits, you might want to think about learning life-saving measures like CPR. You can see all of our classes here.