Learn how this device could save a loved one or even yourself
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently released the latest statistics on out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA), and the numbers are troubling. According to the AHA, more than 356,000 people experience OHCA every year, and about 90 percent of them don’t survive. And the vast majority of these instances – almost 70 percent – take place in a person’s home.
How can the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims be improved?
One of the key ways to help an SCA victim is by administering CPR and deploying an automated external defibrillator (AED) immediately. Those AHA numbers reveal that the survival rate for people whose heart stopped in a public place is almost 40 percent, and this is almost certainly related to two factors.
First, with the possibility of many people in the area, there is a good chance that at least someone is familiar with CPR. Second, these days, many public places – like offices and airports – have automated external defibrillators on hand. Conversely, the survival rate for someone experiencing SCA at home is less than 28 percent.
The benefits of an AED in your home
AEDs save thousands of lives each year. If there were better access to them even more people could be saved. Research from a recent study found that when a bystander used an AED on an SCA victim, their survival rate increased substantially (66.5 percent versus 43 percent).
AEDs are extremely easy to use
An AED works by analyzing the rhythms of the heart through electrodes. If the rhythms aren’t normal, it sends an electric charge to the heart, which will ideally return the heartbeat to its regular pattern. This may sound kind of complicated, but all AEDs are simple to use. You just put the electrodes on the person, follow the instructions, and the machine takes over.
Training is helpful, but it’s not absolutely necessary
Because AEDs are so user-friendly, you don’t necessarily need training. Unfortunately, many people who have never used an AED often hesitate to do so because of this lack of education. Fortunately, many CPR classes now offer AED instruction, which can help people be more confident and willing to take action in an emergency.
Who should consider adding an AED to their home?
The scary part of SCA is that it is often the first sign of a heart problem, which means someone may not have shown any symptoms beforehand. And while the easy answer to this AED question is “everyone,” there are certain people who should strongly consider getting one, including:
Those with heart conditions
If someone has been diagnosed with certain congenital heart defects, heart disease, or is at risk for heart issues, an AED is strongly advised.
The average age of someone who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest is 60, so older people can most benefit from having an AED in their home.
Households with at least two people
Clearly, if you are unconscious, you won’t be able to use an AED on yourself, so you will need to get help from someone else in the home.
Want to learn more about AEDs?
At One Beat CPR, our CPR classes include AEDs, so you will get hands-on training in how to use one. Plus, we sell AEDs and can help you figure out which one is right for you. To get more information about everything we offer, feel free to contact us.