Out of more than 356,000 cardiac arrests occurring annually outside of hospitals in the United States, 90% of cases are fatal, demonstrating that emergency response is a nationwide issue in need of a solution. Anyone can experience heart issues at any time, but access to a defibrillator and proper training may be able to significantly reduce the number of fatalities.
The importance of AEDs
An Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED, is a portable device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and deliver a shock (also known as defibrillation) to help the heart regain a regular rhythm when necessary. In short, it is a lifesaving device that can help those experiencing cardiac arrest - a sudden complication of the heart that often results in death before the patient even reaches a hospital. While paramedics try their best to reach patients as soon as possible, a bystander may need to intervene to provide life-saving measures: it is therefore essential that a defibrillator is available.
A lifesaving awareness
Unfortunately, not many are aware of the importance that an AED may hold, where they may be located, or even how to use one. In fact, a shocking half of all US employees don’t know where the AED is located in their workplace. While the AED is a complex device that delivers life-saving treatment, it’s designed so that it’s easy to use by those who aren’t a doctor or paramedic. However, despite its ease of use, it’s still important to be aware of how to use an AED - which is why, like CPR, there are classes (online and in-person) available.
All public places like schools, airports and workplaces in all industries should buy AEDs, as they can often mean the difference between life and death. However, it’s necessary to spread the awareness of where the AED is located in case of an emergency - such as through informative signs or letting others know in a workplace meeting. Implementing an AED training course in the workplace is also an essential in order to spread knowledge and awareness. With the proper awareness in place, the benefits of an AED are undoubtedly increased by giving confidence to those who may witness a cardiac arrest.