Automated external defibrillators are simple to use and easy to maintain. Failing to maintain your AED can lead to disaster on the day it is needed. Plan to be successful! Universally, all AEDs need the following to be operational when an emergency occurs:
- The AED should be checked that it is physically in the proper location.
- The AED pads should be checked. The package should be sealed until ready for use, and it should be within its expiration date. If the pad package is open or the expiration date has passed, it should be replaced immediately.
- The battery should be checked. For most AEDs, there is an indicator light or symbol that indicates if the battery is o.k. or if it needs service. Know the battery check mechanism for your AED. If the battery is low, you should receive both visual and audible warnings many generate a “beep” like a smoke detector with a low battery.
- Most AEDs have a small pouch or packet of supplies you might need when using the AED. This pouch may include a face mask for rescue breathing, a small towel, scissors, protective gloves, and a razor. Be sure this kit is ready for action.
The AED owner’s manual contains valuable information specific to checking and maintaining your AED—be sure to read and follow the instructions. AEDs are very reliable devices and problems are very rare, but they can happen. Your owner’s manual is also a valuable resource for correcting problems with your AED.
It is helpful to have a documented, periodic check of the AED. Your AED may have come with a checklist for a weekly or monthly check.
Finally, an action plan can help your emergency run smoothly. If your organization has one, review and practice it periodically. If not, draft a plan for your company.
via Maintaining Your AED – Project Heart Restart – The Christ Hospital.
Here are five facts about AEDs and CPR :
1. CPR will not restart a heart. Instead, it manually pumps blood through the heart and enables oxygen to reach the brain. This is absolutely vital for someone experiencing cardiac arrest. According to the America Heart Association, if CPR is administered immediately, it doubles or even triples the victim’s rate of survival.
2. CPR is hard work. Pushing hard on the victim’s chest (at a depth of about 2 inches) at a rate of 100 compressions per minute can quickly become exhausting. If another person is available to help give CPR, you should switch out every 2 minutes.
3. Both CPR and AEDs are safe. It’s unlikely you’ll hurt someone by performing CPR. And because CPR is so critical in the first minutes someone experiences cardiac arrest, you should administer this life-saving action even if you’re not absolutely sure whether the victim is breathing or has a heartbeat. Good Samaritan laws also should protect you even if an unlikely injury does occur.
4.An AED will administer a shock for two types of abnormal heart rhythms: ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. These are fatal arrhythmias. While they have a high likelihood of being corrected by an AED, they also may recur, which is why it’s important to leave an AED on (while continuing to administer CPR) until emergencies services arrive.
5. AEDs are so easy a third-grader can use one – literally. According to an expert, when third graders were presented with AEDs and asked to use them, they were able to do so correctly. An AED will talk you through each step and determine whether or not a shock is needed. It’s that easy.
via Life Saver: 5 Facts about CPR and AEDs | EHS Today | Health content from EHS Today.
Reasons for AEDs in the workplace
- Workers may suffer sudden cardiac arrest while on the job.
- Onsite AEDs save precious treatment time, and can improve survival odds because they can be used before emergency medical service (EMS) personnel arrive.
- A heart rhythm in ventricular fibrillation may only be restored to normal by an electric shock.
- The AED is compact, lightweight, portable, battery operated, safe, and easy to use.
via Saving Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victims in the Workplace.
Approximately 890 deaths from coronary heart disease occur outside of the hospital or emergency room every day. Most of these deaths are due to the sudden loss of heart function or sudden cardiac death.1 In 2001 and 2002, there were 6628 workplace fatalities reported to OSHA; 1216 from heart attack, 354 from electric shock, and 267 from asphyxia. A number of these victims, up to 60 percent, might have been saved if automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were immediately available. Chances of survival from sudden cardiac death diminish by 7 – 10 percent for each minute without immediate CPR or defibrillation. After 10 minutes, resuscitation rarely succeeds. An AED is an electronic device designed to deliver an electric shock to a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Ventricular fibrillation may be restored to normal rhythm up to 60 percent of the time if treated promptly with an AED, a procedure called defibrillation.
via Safety and Health Topics | Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Over 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year . It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and at any age. An AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.
Time is of the essence:
- The average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes.
- For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced approximately 10%.
via Learn about Automated Defibrillators | American Red Cross | AED.