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How do AEDs Work and Who Can Use Them?

How do AEDs Work and Who Can Use Them? on onebeatcpr.com

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

350,000.

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.

CPR and AEDs Save More Than Just Lives

CPR and AEDs Save More Than Just Lives on onebeatcpr.com

How employee CPR training preserves and promotes company morale

Until you’ve experienced loss, it’s difficult to truly understand how deeply it impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Grief can be crippling, even if the death is outside of a person’s family, after all, our colleagues are often more a part of our daily lives than extended family.

A 2002 paper drafted by Dr. Kirsti A. Dyer assessed the impact the death of a co-worker has on companies. Dr. Dyer explained that grieving the loss of a co-worker “can upset workers and hamper the work environment. Unfortunately, most businesses cannot afford to halt production, sales or services to accommodate the grief response.”

Fortunately, many of these deaths can be prevented.

Putting the odds in your favor

According to OSHA, approximately 10,000 Americans suffer a sudden cardiac arrest at work each year. If there’s not help already on the scene, waiting for emergency medical assistance only offers about a 7-10% chance of survival. However, when automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and trained individuals are on site, the overall survival rate increases by 70%, and “studies with immediate defibrillation have shown up to 60% survival one year after sudden cardiac arrest.”

The American Red Cross and OSHA believe in the lifesaving power of CPR training enough to provide hero stories on their websites. An excellent example is the case of George Hickman, an employee at Honeywell FM&T in Kansas City, Missouri.

When Hickman was overtaken by cardiac arrest, six of his colleagues sprang into action. Two immediately administered CPR, while another called emergency services. Security quickly arrived with an AED – the shock revived his pulse and an oxygen mask was placed over his mouth well before paramedics arrived.

Hickman survived, and instead of months of grieving, business went on, presumably with a considerable boost in morale and stronger employee bonds.

“It is quite humbling to stand here in front of six gentlemen who saved my life,” stated Hickman at a Red Cross awards ceremony. “Every day is a blessing. It can end in a heartbeat. I appreciate your chest compressions and thank you for paying attention in the CPR course.”

Automated external defibrillator (AED) courses

A fibrillation is a spasm of a muscle caused by uncoordinated individual fibrils (muscle fibers). Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by either ventricular fibrillation or when the heart completely stops beating, most frequently the former. AEDs analyze the heart’s rhythm and then send a jolt of electricity calibrated to correct the fibrillation, allowing the heart to beat normally again.

Fortunately, AEDs are relatively easy to use – many American Heart Association Approved training facilities provide courses for both individuals and entire companies.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses

It’s important for employees to know what to do before and after an AED arrives – it saved George Hickman’s life.

Each of Hickman’s colleagues fell right back on their training, from delegating tasks, to applying an oxygen mask after he was resuscitated. Consider how empowered everyone at Kansas City’s Honeywell FM&T branch felt after seeing their CPR training put to use to save their colleague’s life.

Turn your staff into heroes

The sooner you launch a CPR training initiative for your employees, the less likely you are to face a grieving workforce. 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.

The Compelling Lifesaving Statistics of AEDs

The Compelling Lifesaving Statistics of AEDs on onebeatcpr.com

Use of an Automated External Defibrillator can increase the cardiac arrest survival rate by a staggering 70%

Every 1.7 minutes, someone in America suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest, otherwise known as SCA. If not treated, SCA can easily be fatal and it often is – more than a third of a million Americans die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that most of these incidents are fatal– and experts say that survival rates consistently hover at or below 10%.

However, when it comes to SCA, it’s not all doom and gloom. Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, have been helping both first responders and ordinary individuals safely resuscitate SCA victims and save lives without complex medical training. AEDs work by producing a small electrical charge that can reset a patient’s heart to its correct rhythm.

While easy-to-use portable defibrillators are only a few decades old, AEDs are so effective at saving lives that they’re estimated to increase SCA survival rates by a staggering 70%. Despite these statistics, many areas of the U.S. simply don’t have enough AEDs to go around. Experts estimate that an increase in AEDs to optimal levels could save more than 40,000 American lives each year – and that’s just one reason why it’s essential for more people to learn about and have access to this lifesaving device.

Communities with comprehensive AED training programs see a 40% increase in cardiac arrest survival rates

Experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest can be terrifying for a patient and their family – and the fact is, even the fastest first responders often take 8-12 minutes to reach a victim. An AED drastically improves the odds of survival. However, to be effective, an AED needs to be sufficiently close to an SCA victim, and that’s one of the reasons why community-based training programs have been so effective at helping resuscitate cardiac arrest victims across the country. AED programs may be even more important in rural areas, in which victims may suffer an SCA a hundred miles or more from the nearest major hospital. In that case, it could take an hour or more for first responders to arrive – a virtual death sentence if nearby individuals do not have easy access to an AED.

Where AEDs are located in the United States

As many people would expect, the vast majority of AEDs (59%) in the U.S. are currently owned by first responders such as a policemen, firefighters, and EMTs. The next largest group of AED owners are schools (17%), followed by faith-based and recreational organizations, nursing homes and senior centers, and hospitals, clinics, and other medical centers. It’s a good idea to know the general places in which the equipment is most likely to be located, so, in case of emergency, you have a better shot at finding (or helping others to find) a nearby AED. In addition, if you or a loved one has a close family member with a heart condition, you may want to inquire about where the closest AED is, especially if traveling to remote or rural areas.

More AEDs in public places can save lives

In the first 10 months after Chicago’s O’Hare Airport installed 49 AEDs on the premises, the devices were used 14 times, saving a total of nine lives – nearly 1 each month (and that’s only one airport). When it comes to helping an SCA victim, every second counts. According to statistics published by the American Heart Association, every additional minute AED use is delayed corresponds with a 10% reduction in patient survival rates. This means that in especially large areas or buildings, such as airports like O’Hare, it pays to have multiple AEDs located in different areas in order to facilitate easy access to the devices.

Despite their substantial benefits, 64% of Americans have never even seen an AED

While AEDs save an increasing number of lives each year, many Americans don’t even understand what they are. This widespread lack of knowledge means that individuals may not be able to get full use of the life-saving equipment present in their community. Additionally, a lack of understanding means that many Americans are less likely to push for more AEDs in their schools, religious and community centers, and other public areas.

While the number of AEDs is increasing, especially in places like college and university campuses, it’s not increasing fast enough to help many SCA victims. However, increased education and awareness may be able to help. And hopefully, this awareness will help make death from an SCA into an uncommon occurrence.

To learn more about how AEDs (and proper training in their usage) can help save lives in businesses, schools, and other public places, contact One Beat CPR for a free consultation.