home aed

Can You Buy an AED for Home Use?

Annually, in the United States, 356,000 cases of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest occur. Moreover, 68.5% of the 356,000 cases happen in a person’s home or residence.

These facts beg the question to be answered: Can I buy an AED for home use?

The short answer to if you can have a home AED is yes. However, there are multiple factors that you should consider when buying an AED for your house.

For example, you might wonder if there are certain brands made for the home, or if there is any required training you should take before using your personal AED.

To help you prepare properly, we’ve put together some information to consider when buying an AED for home use below.

Buying a Home AED: Questions and Answers

What Should I Know Before Buying an AED for Home Use?

Generally speaking, AEDs are available for purchase to a wide variety of people. However, it is important to note that these AEDs are manufactured and sold under FDA approved guidelines.

In other words, while an AED might be available for you to purchase, there might be additional requirements you must meet before you can buy it.

The FDA’s guidelines may require some who purchase an AED, especially for home use, to have a physician’s prescription.

A prescription may be required to ensure that the person that is using the AED is doing so responsibly.

Do I Need Training to Use My Personal AED?

If you’ve done your research, you’ve likely learned that many personal and public AEDs are user-friendly and have comprehensive instructions.

So, if an AED is easy to use, why would you need training on how to use it?

An AED operator must be able to recognize a situation when using the AED is necessary.

According to the American Heart Association, an AED operator should know several things when using an AED. This includes warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest, CPR training, and when to activate the Emergency Medical Services system.

For additional information, contact your local EMS system. Your local EMS system can tell you more about any local and state protocols and requirements for using an AED and AED training.

Are There Brands With Home AED Models?

Now that you know about the requirements for buying an AED and training, finding the right AED to buy is your next step.

You must find an AED that will work well for you and in your home before buying it. After all, you may not want to buy a public AED for personal use.

So, what brand of AED is one that you can use at home?

As of 2019, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, or CDRH, approved two Philips AEDs for home use.

Overall, the CDRH’s approval indicates that the HeartStart OnSite and Home are both available as over the counter purchases.

However, the CDRH’s approval also states that the only AED “specifically indicated for home environments” is the Philips HeartStart Home defibrillator.

Are you looking for a home AED that meets your needs and expectations?

Contact Foremost Medical Equipment today and learn about our new and refurbished Philips HeartStart OnSite AEDs.

aed program management

Do I Need AED Program Management?

For someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, having a nearby AED can save their life. Nevertheless, an AED must be properly maintained so that it is always ready in case it needs to be used.

Depending on your state, you might also have AED maintenance legislation requiring consistent upkeep of your public AEDs.

To help you find the right AED program management, we’ve compiled important information on AED tracking and management below.

AED Program Management

What is AED Program Management?

AEDs are lifesavers in dire situations; however, without the appropriate maintenance can fail at moments need. AED program management is a management procedure that ensures the readiness and operability of the device.

An effective program, like Foremost Medical Equipment’s Check My AED, allows users to manage every aspect of your AED device(s). Check My AED account users can upload hundreds of AEDs and inspect each AED based on a schedule determined by the user. Even more, the user receives notification for required inspections and maintenance.

Crucial Check My AED features include the ability to:

  • inspect AEDs online,
  • access AED inspection logs, and
  • manage user certifications.

All in all, proper program management is essential to the use in urgent situations.

Are you looking for an easy way to track your AEDs?

Contact Foremost Medical Equipment to learn more about our AED Management Program today.

Who Needs AED Management?

Anyone who owns an AED needs program management.

As aforementioned, state laws regulate the availability and maintenance of AEDs. Regulations vary by state; nonetheless, many require that AEDs be tested to manufacturer’s standards.

So, if you have public AEDs in your business, having a way to track their maintenance is necessary to ensure compliance with state legislation.

What Are the Benefits of AED Tracking?

We’ve touched on some of the benefits of AED tracking, but there are numerous ways it can help.

One major benefit of using AED tracking is equipment education. Consistently performing maintenance will allow you to gain detailed knowledge about how your equipment operates.

By and large, having AED tracking in place can help you prepare for emergencies and even save a life.

refurbished aed

New vs. Used vs. Refurbished AED: Pros and Cons

In the United States, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually. Unfortunately, the majority—90%—of these incidents are fatal. Despite this, there are medical interventions that can be implemented to reduce the risks of fatality.  

Over the past decade, AEDs have become a regular installation in public buildings like schools, airports, and shopping centers.

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a machine used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest establish a normal heart rhythm. In the event of sudden cardiac arrest, administering both CPR and using an AED can be life-saving.

With this mind, it’s important to take the appropriate precautionary steps in the event of a cardiac event. Participating in first aid and CPR training is a valuable first step.

Additionally, equipping your workplace, school, or home with an AED device can be useful if you or someone who frequents the residence is at risk of a cardiac event.

You can purchase a new, used, or refurbished AED, depending on your budget or use. To help you make the best purchase, we’ve compiled some important information to consider when shopping for an AED. 

New, Used and Refurbished AED: Which to Buy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires AED manufacturers to obtain premarket approval for all AEDs and accessories before they are released to the public. This regulation ensures that your AED works when it matters most.

For this reason, in this article, the functionality of an AED isn’t in question—whether it is new, used, or refurbished. However, we will call attention to the price tag, longevity, and effectiveness.

New AED: Pros and Cons


The cost of a new AED varies widely depending on the features a particular AED model offers, such as battery life and customization options. That being said, the cost of a new AED can range from $700 to $3,235. 


The longevity of any given AED model will vary, given the frequency of use and other factors. In general, it is estimated that, on average, a new AED can last anywhere from five to eight years before needing to be replaced. Additionally, it is easier to replace parts of a newer AED than it is for an older model, especially if the manufacturer has discontinued specific parts.


As they have not been used prior, a new AED may be more effective than a used or refurbished model. But, it is important to note that just because an AED model is new, it does not automatically make it the better choice over other types of AEDs. 

Used AED: Pros and Cons


The cost of a used AED depends on the condition of the item and the age of the product. Additionally, certain AED sellers, such as Foremost Medical Equipment, offer trade-in services. These services enable you to sell equipment that you aren’t using or trade-in older equipment for a newer model. Thus, the eventual cost of the newer model is cheaper thanks to these services.


As said before, the longevity of a new AED can be anywhere from five to eight years. Therefore, the functionality of a used AED is expected to be eight years or less. 

Let’s say you purchased a used AED that was used for two years before you purchased it. It is likely that AED could be used for another three to six years before needing to be replaced or refurbished. 


One may think a used AED is less effective than other types of AEDs. However, this is not always the case. It is important to take into consideration the overall wear and tear of a used AED to determine how effective it will be for you. 

Refurbished AED: Pros and Cons


Purchasing a refurbished AED is the most cost-effective alternative to a new device. Prices for a refurbished AED range from around $500 to $1,500. These costs can vary depending on the age of the model, the parts that have been refurbished. 


To determine the longevity of a refurbished AED, one should consider the parts that were refurbished. Additionally, when it was refurbished, and the overall age of the model.


A refurbished AED can be as effective as a new or used model. Similar to the considerations you should take with a used AED, looking at how long this model has been used before and after it was refurbished can tell you how effective it will be for you. 

Plus, knowing what kind of parts were refurbished and how they were refurbished can tell you what to expect when using this refurbished model. 

Are you looking to purchase a cost-effective and reliable AED that is right for you?

Foremost Medical Equipment offers a wide variety of AEDs, from new to refurbished models that can meet almost any needs! 

can you use child aed pads on adults

Can You Use Child AED Pads on Adults?

An important step in preparing for emergencies is ensuring you have the right supplies. Without the right accessories, your AED may not function properly.

Thus, doing a little research before you buy or use an AED is always beneficial.

A factor to keep in mind when learning to use an AED deals with what kind of AED pads you need. Overall, there are two sizes of pads you can purchase: adult and pediatric AED pads.

To help you buy the right pads and prepare for emergencies, we’ve compiled useful information on adult vs. pediatric pads below.

Adult vs. Pediatric AED Pads

What is the Difference?

When looking to buy AED pads, you may wonder what the difference between adult vs. pediatric pads is. Are they the same, or is there a reason there are two sizes?

The major difference between these two types of pads is the energy level an AED uses. Additionally, most child AED pads for made for children younger than eight years old.

Therefore, having both child and adult AED pads available can better prepare you for certain situations, such as pediatric sudden cardiac arrest.

Can You Use Adult AED Pads on Children?

In most public spaces, adult AED pads are readily available. However, in a few instances, it may be necessary for you to use child AED pads.

In situations where pediatric pads are not available, you can use adult pads on a child—it is better to use adult pads rather than forego immediate treatment.

To properly use adult pads on a child, place an AED pad on the chest and the other on the back of the child.

Then, operate the AED as instructed by the device.

Can You Use Child AED Pads on Adults?

Another rare situation you may experience can be when you need to use adult AED pads but only have pediatric pads.

Like our previous example, you may ask yourself, can you use child AED pads on adults?

Unlike the use of adult AED pads on children, the use of child AED pads on adults is generally not advised.


As we shared before, the amount of energy that is administered between adult vs. child AED pads is different, as children under eight years old require less shock.

Therefore, the amount of energy supplied through child AED pads would not suffice for an adult experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Keep Your AED Supplies and Knowledge Up to Date

If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is experiencing SCA, it is always recommended to call 911 as soon as possible.

Additionally, in the rare case that the right AED pads are not available, it is even more important that you contact 911.

Now you know a bit more about AED pads and what to do in these various scenarios. This is but one step of many in preparing yourself for a situation that calls for an AED.

Other ways to prepare are to read up on AED use and ensuring proper AED maintenance is provided. The best way to do this is to check your supplies regularly. By doing so, you can rest assured that your supplies are always up to date—just in case.

Are you in need of various AED supplies and accessories?

Foremost Medical Equipment offers a wide variety of brands for AED and AED accessories that can meet almost every need!

Break the Ice: Ways to Transform Workplace Acquaintances into a Team on onebeatcpr.com

Break the Ice: Ways to Transform Workplace Acquaintances into a Team

From CPR training to cooking competitions, there’s something to fit every company

A company is only as strong as its team. And a team is only as strong as the bonds between its members. As eye-rolling as some corporate bonding exercises can be, there are fun and inspiring alternatives, including CPR training. Read on for a sampling of our favorites.

Make the office fun again

You need not fly your team to Maui or buy out Fenway Park to give them valuable team-building opportunities. Introduce one or more of these office-based ideas to give their day-to-day a needed shot in the arm.

  1. Show off their culinary chops. Cooking competitions have become a staple of TV and are relatively easy to transform into activities that require strong leadership and quickly-learned cooperation. Pick a category (brunch! Greek! tropical!) or an ingredient (chickpeas! Twinkies! kale!) and let the creative juices flow.Ultimately, it’s up to the team whether the adventure ends up fantastically delicious or a flambéed disaster. And while not everyone on your staff likes to cook, it’s safe to say most of them like to eat. So set up a judging panel for those team members who aren’t Emeril or Giada.
  2. Work games into the daily calendar. Not everyone has the time (or desire) to get up from their desks and join that cutthroat game of Jenga or seven-card stud by the reception desk. But give employees the option to sign up for a slot as part of their regular work week and space may magically start to appear in those office calendars. Any concerns about lost productivity can be assuaged by increased rapport among your team plus some much-needed time to rest some brain muscles (and stretch others).
  3. Get personal. Simple bonding games such as Two Truths and a Lie allow your staff to get to know each other but within boundaries that they themselves set. It’s up to the individual which “truth” they decide to share, which allows them to open up in a safe environment. While ideal as an onboarding tool, it can also be a great brainteaser for long-term staff, as they will need to come up with new “truths” that their colleagues don’t yet know.

Get out of the office

As fun as you can make your home base, sometimes your team needs fresh air and a change of venue. Give these out-of-office adventures a try.

  1. Volunteer. Donating time towards a good cause is good for personal karma and also great for team bonding. Children’s hospitals, soup kitchens, and wilderness beautification are just a few of the many options out there that welcome large groups. Also consider allowing your staff to use their professional skills (copywriting, website design, marketing) to help short-staffed nonprofits.
  2. Underwrite a mystery dinner. At the end of a long day (or week) a nice dinner out can be just the thing to allow your employees to blow off steam and break bread as an extended family. The twist here is that the location and guest list will remain a mystery until the night of the event. Mix and match different teams to a variety of restaurants or staff members’ houses. Throw in an added perk with after-dinner drinks or dessert at one location so everyone can reconnect and share stories.
  3. Discover someplace new. A great night out can be perfect for some, but not all. Parents with young kids, people with two jobs, and many others may be much more likely to participate in a daytime outing. So take the day, pile into cars or a chartered bus, and explore a new place. That quaint town by the lake, an unusual museum, or even a nearby nature walk followed by lunch.

Train them to save lives

In addition to the obvious health and safety benefits to good CPR training, there are some extra perks that make this an even more appealing team-building option.

  1. Save lives, increase morale. Many businesses struggle to combat the “punch the clock” mentality that can set in for employees who may only see your company as a direct deposit blip on their digital bank statement. That mindset can quickly change once staff members put their lives in each other’s hands. In addition, most CPR classes require group participation and pairing off in teams, a great way to spend quality time and build trust with co-workers.
  2. Get to know your first aid kit. For the vast majority of people, the first aid kit that hangs on the wall or sits lonely next to the microwave in the break room is a passive comfort but little else. Training turns that plastic box of unfamiliar contents into critical tools that can save a life. Seconds matter after an accident and if your staff has a firm grasp of the tools at its disposal, the safer everyone will be. And a group setting ensures that coworkers will hold each other accountable for the information – you all learned it, you all need to own it.
  3. Serve your community. When your staff walks away from an afternoon of CPR training with their workplace comrades, they will now be equipped to make a valuable safety contribution in their homes and communities. Something this simple, and seemingly self-serving, can make your company a force for greater good on the local level. This benefit can’t be measured on a balance sheet but will be made real by the confidence and security felt by those who “punch the clock” for you every day.

One Beat CPR can be a key partner in this valuable team training for your organization, and it can be done offsite or we can bring the classes to your workplace. Learn more through our online resource guide.

The ABCs of AEDs on onebeatcpr.com

The ABCs of AEDs

What you need to know to save lives

We’ve seen it in movies and on TV dozens of times. Grandpa collapses in a shopping mall, mom faints at the airport, or young John from sales loses his balance at the gym and suddenly passes out. A friend or relative leaps into action and they start CPR. In real life, more often, folks are may also reach for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

What is (and isn’t) an AED?

A defibrillator is a medical device that stops fibrillation, an erratic heartbeat, by distributing an electrical shock or pulse of approximately 300 joules to the heart. This restores the heart to normal by stopping its uncontrolled trembling. The AED was developed in 1965 by Frank Pantridge, a physician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The goal was to allow lay people without medical training to use this technology to assist those in the midst of sudden cardiac arrest or who experience arrhythmia (an uneven heartbeat). Frank was of the firm belief that anyone who could perform CPR could operate a defibrillator. Further, he advocated that they are installed beside fire extinguishers, as life was more important than property.

The original prototype ran off car batteries and weighed close to a whopping 155 pounds, compared to today’s models which have a relative feather-weight of just over four pounds. He first installed the “portable” defibrillator in an ambulance, which allowed for patients experiencing cardiac arrest to receive treatment prior to arrival at the hospital. The technology quickly spread to the United States.

One common misconception about AEDs is that they can be used when the heart flat lines, or ceases to beat at all (diehard fans of ER or Grey’s Anatomy can be forgiven this false assumption). Defibrillators typically don’t completely restart the heart, they reset our body’s natural pacemaker so it functions properly.

An AED is also not to be confused with similar devices, such as Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) or Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators (WCDs). ICDs are battery-powered devices that are surgically implanted under the skin and connect to the heart via thin wires. They monitor the heart and send a shock if they detect an abnormal rhythm. WCDs perform similar functions but can be worn underneath clothing as a combination garment and monitor.

How does an AED work?

While the very concept of saving another person’s life can be daunting for most of us, the modern AED has been designed to make this miraculous task surprisingly simple. Each AED contains adhesive pads with electrodes which the user attaches to the victim’s chest. This is a simplified system based on hospital defibrillators, which use conductive gel to move the electricity along and hand-held panels with plastic handles to prevent medical professionals from experiencing the shock.

Proper placement of these pads is key to effectively assist the victim. There are two basic options:

  • Place one pad above and to the left of the heart, the other below and to the right.
  • Place the pads in front of and behind the heart.

The electrodes provide the AED’s computer with crucial information about the heart’s rhythm, that allows it to determine whether an electric shock is necessary and then to provide that shock. AEDs can be used on adults and children as young as 12 months (some devices have specially-sized pads for kids).

When should I use an AED?

Time is of the essence when a person goes into cardiac arrest. Most incidents stem from ventricular fibrillation (VF), a rapid and unsynchronized rhythm that begins in the heart’s lower chambers, or ventricles. Experts estimate that a victim’s chance of survival drops by seven to 10 percent every minute that a normal heartbeat isn’t restored.

First, be sure the person is actually in cardiac arrest. If you see them faint or come upon them already unconscious, confirm that they don’t respond to speaking, shouting, or shaking. In the case of an infant or young child, avoid shaking and instead give them a gentle but firm pinch. Check for breathing and a pulse. If neither is present, call 9-1-1, begin CPR, and seek out an AED.

You can often find AEDs in settings where crowds gather, such as schools, airports, gyms, malls, pools, hotels, and sports venues. They are easily recognizable and look much like a large first-aid kit, often with a heart logo emblazoned on the front.

Clear other bystanders from the immediate area, as touching the victim can interfere with the AED’s readings. Most AEDs provide voice commands that take you through each step of its use. Again, CPR is a key tool and should be administered before or after a shock. The device will likely instruct you when to begin CPR.

The effectiveness of AEDs can be profound. The American Heart Association estimates that survival rates double when bystanders use AEDs before emergency responders arrive. One Beat CPR can be a valuable partner in your organization’s AED purchases and training. You can learn more at our online store and resource guide.

What's in Your First Aid Kit? on onebeatcpr.com

What’s in Your First Aid Kit?

In case of a medical emergency, you’ll be glad you checked

At one point or another, it’s happened to all of us. We hurt ourselves, go dig out the first aid kit, and quickly discover that what we need isn’t in there. Not only is this frustrating, but it could also end up being a real problem for a serious injury.

Most homes and workplaces have first aid kits, but how often does anybody really check to see whether it’s well-stocked or replace missing items? In the event of an emergency, this small box may make a huge difference, which is why it has to contain the essentials.

How to choose the right kit

Before you know what your first aid kit should contain, it’s important to think about your situation. If, for example, you have young children, you’ll want it to include things like a thermometer, bulb suction device, and maybe some colorful adhesive bandages. If you do a lot of hiking or camping, you’ll want to consider a larger kit with items such as tourniquets that can help with more severe injuries. If you drive a lot, it may be a good idea to keep your kit in your car or get a separate one.

What every kit should have

No matter who the kit may be for, it is important that it at least has the basics. The Red Cross has an extensive list of what this should include and the quantities. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Gauze
  • Bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Aspirin
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cold compress
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction book

First aid kit tips

Keep it in a centralized spot

The only thing worse than not finding what you need in a first aid kit is not being able to find the kit at all. Whether at home or in an office, everyone should know where it is and be able to get to it quickly.

Check it regularly

You just never know if somebody may have taken something out of the kit, which is why it should be checked periodically.

Make replacements

Certain things in the kit – like creams and ointments – have expiration dates. Replacing these items before they become old or ineffective is important.

What businesses need to know about first aid kits

All businesses have to adhere to the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and one rule stipulates that “adequate first aid supplies” must be on hand. Although the agency doesn’t have specific first aid kit content requirements, employers need to “ensure that reasonably anticipated supplies are available.”

Businesses also have to augment their kits if need be for changing circumstances. And if there is a chance that employees will come into contact with blood or other infectious materials while using any first aid supplies, an employer needs to provide personal protective equipment, including gowns, gloves, and masks.

So, which kit should you buy?

This one is really up to you. There are numerous first aid kits available, and most of them can probably give you what you need. This guide covers some of the best kits for the home, office, and car. The important thing is that you don’t buy a kit and then just forget about it (or forget where you put it).

And you should know how to effectively use everything in it. At One Beat CPR, we offer a class that will help you learn what to do in the event of an emergency, including how to handle broken bones, stings, and bleeding. Check out our first aid class schedule here and if you have any questions, please contact us.

Just Who is this Heimlich Guy, Anyway? on onebeatcpr.com

Just Who is this Heimlich Guy, Anyway?

Everything you need to know about the Heimlich Maneuver

Thanks to movies and television, we’ve all probably wondered what we would do if we’re dining in a restaurant and someone started choking on their dinner. The Heimlich Maneuver has been dramatized over and over again, but would we actually feel comfortable doing it at the moment?

The method has been known to save lives, but there’s also been some controversy over whether it’s the best method out there, as well as what it should be called. Here’s a brief look at the background of Dr. Henry Heimlich, his ground-breaking maneuver, and how to do it.

Heimlich’s history

Dr. Henry J. Heimlich was a thoracic surgeon who made several impactful discoveries during his lifetime. His research was conducted with the help of the Heimlich Institute in Cincinnati, of which he was president.  He had many medical accomplishments, among them developing a treatment for victims suffering from trachoma, and acting as the first American surgeon to perform a reversed gastric tube operation, which replaces the esophagus.

According to Dr. Heimlich’s memorial website, still operated in his honor since his death in 2016, he invented the Heimlich Maneuver in 1974 when he heard that thousands of Americans die every year from choking. After years of research, he then discovered a way to force trapped air out from the lungs that would apply enough pressure to remove the obstruction from a person’s windpipe.

Because the maneuver is pretty simple for anyone to perform in a crisis, it became very popular and is still attributed to saving lives every year, according to the Heimlich website.

After a 1985 announcement from the Surgeon General claimed that the method was the only way to save choking victims, the American Red Cross recommended the Heimlich Maneuver, under that name. But in 2006, the organization removed “Heimlich” from the name and instead referred to the maneuver as “abdominal thrusts,” which is how it’s still termed today.

The Red Cross now recommends pairing the abdominal thrusts with blows to the back between the shoulder blades when someone is choking. Dr. Heimlich asked the Red Cross to remove his name from this new form of his method since he did not condone pairing his maneuver with the blows to the back.

How to perform the Heimlich Maneuver

To perform the Heimlich Maneuver the way Heimlich had intended it, and how the Red Cross still recommends you perform the abdominal thrusts, take the following steps:

  1. Stand behind the victim and wrap your arms around their waist.
  2. Make a fist, placing the thumb side of the fist against the victim’s upper abdomen, below their ribcage but above their navel.
  3. Grasping your fist with the other hand, press into the abdomen with quick, upward pressure. Make sure you’re not squeezing the ribcage but confining the thrust to your fist.
  4. Repeat until the obstruction is expelled.

The American Red Cross recommends that the above procedure is performed only after five back blows have been given to the victim. This is done by giving them five hits with the heel of your hand between their shoulder blades after bending the person forward at the waist.

The recommended procedure is then to continue the steps – five back blows followed by five abdominal thrusts – until the victim is no longer choking. Before performing any method on any victim, however, the Red Cross advises to call 9-1-1.

What if the victim is lying down or unconscious?

If this is the case, give the victim four upward thrusts with the heel of your hand just above the waistline, while straddling the victim. Repeat several times if necessary.

While the American Red Cross and other health organizations like the American Heart Association have modified Dr. Heimlich’s original method, his ground-breaking work popularized a new life-saving method for choking victims, and he won the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award in 1984.

For more information about CPR, AED, and first aid training in your area, get in touch with One Beat CPR. We offer a variety of lifesaving education classes that will help families, educators, or companies deal with emergency situations.

Is Pet First Aid Really a Thing? on onebeatcpr.com

Is Pet First Aid Really a Thing?

It is, and you can use it to save the life of your furry best friend

For most of us, our pets aren’t just pets. If you call your dog or cat your “baby” or refer to yourself as his or her parent, you are certainly not alone. And because our pets are so important to us, we want them to be as happy and healthy as possible. But would you know what to do if they needed immediate medical help? These first aid tips can help you prepare ahead of time.

Pay attention

You know your pet better than anyone, so you should be able to spot things that are out of the ordinary. If they’re not eating or drinking as much and aren’t as active as usual, these could be signs that something is wrong. You may want to check their vital signs – including pulse and temperature – on a regular basis so you know what’s normal.

Common pet emergencies


Signs of choking include coughing and trouble breathing, and a dog or cat may also paw at their mouth. You should try to look into their mouth to see if you locate the item. If you see it, you may be able to use a tool like tweezers to get it out. You’ll need to be careful, however, as a panicky pet is more likely to bite. Even if you are able to get the obstruction out, it’s important to have your pet looked at by a doctor.


If you have or have had young children, you know how easily they can get cuts and scratches. And while pets are usually a little savvier, if they spend a lot of time outdoors, chances are they come inside with their own cuts periodically. While most of these probably aren’t serious, if you notice a lot of blood, you’ll need to act. It is important to quickly find the wound and put a cloth or towel over it and keep the pressure on it for at least a few minutes. If this isn’t effective, you will need to create a tourniquet before taking your pet to the vet.


Because of our hot climate in South Florida, heatstroke is something we all especially need to be aware of. Signs include panting, labored breathing, and possible vomiting. It’s important to get your pet cooled quickly, and you can do this by wrapping them in towels soaked in lukewarm water so they don’t become cooled too quickly. Putting them in front of a fan and giving them water can also be helpful.

What about dogs and chocolate?

While there are many types of foods dogs shouldn’t be eating, chocolate may be the worst, as it can cause seizures, vomiting, and even death. If you see your dog eat a large amount of chocolate, you’ll need to see a vet as soon as possible. The same is true if you only suspect that it was consumed; this is another instance when knowing what’s normal and what’s not with your dog’s behavior will come in handy.

What should you do if your pet collapses?

Time is of the essence if your pet collapses. The CPR procedure in pets is similar to the one used to resuscitate people, but with some key differences. The first thing you’ll need to do is check to see if they’re breathing. If they aren’t, you will have to start compressions.

  • For cats and small dogs, you need to put the heel of one hand over their heart and the other hand on top of it.
  • For dogs that have a deep chest, you should put the heel of one hand on the widest part of the chest and put the other hand on top of it.
  • For dogs that are more barrel-chested, you will put one hand on the widest part of the sternum and put your other hand on top of it. You will want to ensure your shoulders are directly above your hands.

With your hands in the proper position, you will then push at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute, compressing 1/3 to 1/2 the width of their chest. After 30 compressions without any response, you will need to give rescue breaths. This entails closing your pet’s mouth and extending their neck. You will then cover their nose with your mouth and exhale enough so you see their chest rise. After a second rescue breath, you’ll need to resume CPR. You should continue this pattern until your pet starts breathing on their own or you get to your vet.

Know what to do in the event of an emergency

Because you want your pets to always be cared for, it’s important to know what to do if they’re in distress. At One Beat CPR, while we don’t offer classes specifically for rendering aid to pets, we teach life-saving skills that can be used on any person, of any age. And these skills just might help in an emergency involving the four-legged members of your family as well. Check out our class schedule here.

Aspirin and Cardiovascular Health on onebeatcpr.com

Aspirin and Cardiovascular Health

Why aspirin remains a wonder drug for the heart

Aspirin is in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 1950, this pain-relieving drug was the most frequently-sold painkiller, setting new records. While the substances inside the drug have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, aspirin, as it exists today, is a fairly recent development.

One of the drug’s most important benefits is its impact on heart health. And while aspirin has life-saving properties, there are certain risks to be aware of before you take it. Always consult with a doctor before starting any kind of medication regimen.

The history of aspirin

In 1897, acetylsalicylic acid was termed “aspirin by the Bayer Company, and this was the first time the drug was marketed. However, researchers think that salicylic acid was used up to 4,000 years ago when the Sumerians discovered that the willow tree offered pain remedies. Salicylic acid is extracted from the bark of the willow tree, among other kinds of trees, and is in the salicylates group.

The Royal Society published a report on willow bark in 1763, discussing how it can cure fevers. And in 1853, Charles Frederic Gerhardt, a French scientist, synthesized acetylsalicylic acid for the first time.

But aspirin didn’t become mainstream as a cardiovascular remedy until about the 1940s when Dr. Lawrence L. Craven started prescribing aspirin for male patients to prevent clots in the arteries of the heart. A controlled trial in 1974 revealed that heart attack deaths were reduced up to 25% from the use of aspirin. Since then, numerous other studies have shown a reduction in cardiovascular events when patients take aspirin. Now, current health organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA) embrace aspirin as an effective preventative measure and treatment for those at risk for cardiovascular issues.

Aspirin and heart health

Many medical professionals today will recommend a daily dose of aspirin after a patient experiences serious issues like a heart attack or stroke.

This is because aspirin can help prevent blood clotting. Our bodies have natural platelets that go into action when we get wounds. These platelets build up and essentially form a seal to stop any bleeding.

Atherosclerosis is the process in which fatty deposits of cholesterol buildup in arteries and can eventually lead to blood clots that block the arteries. This form of buildup is called plaque, which usually affects large or medium-sized arteries. This is how clots can block blood flow to the heart, which is the major cause of heart attacks.

Aspirin reduces the clumping of our platelets, which can prevent heart attacks from occurring.

However, because aspirin can increase bleeding in general, Harvard Men’s Health Watch reports that most doctors today recommend small daily doses, about 81 mg a day, which is known as “baby” aspirin. This is the standard recommendation for preventative purposes.

If someone is experiencing heart attack symptoms, an emergency dose of 325 mg is recommended, which is a full, adult dose. But the American Heart Association first says to call 9-1-1 before taking or administering anything, as many people tend to (improperly) wait for the drug to kick in to see if they can avoid going to the hospital.

This can be a life-threatening mistake, and you should always seek emergency medical help if you think you are having heart attack symptoms. These include chest tightness or discomfort, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness, among others. The AHA also recommends that people with a high risk of heart attack, or those who have survived a heart attack, should also take a low dose of aspirin daily.

Risks of taking aspirin

Even though aspirin can prevent life-threatening issues, the American Heart Association lists some risks of taking the drug. Complications can arise if you have an aspirin allergy, drink alcohol regularly, are at risk of hemorrhagic stroke or gastrointestinal bleeding, or are going to have any medical or dental procedures.

People are at risk in these situations because aspirin thins the blood, thus making it harder to clot when a blood condition exists or when undergoing serious surgical procedures.

If someone is experiencing a stroke, the AHA does not recommend that they take aspirin. This is because blood thinning may actually make bleeding strokes more severe – bleeding strokes are those that are not caused by blood clots (though other types are).

Before making any decisions about taking aspirin regularly, talk to your doctor. And to learn more about your training options for serious, life-threatening emergencies, get in touch with One Beat CPR today. We offer a variety of courses, including First Aid and CPR and AED training programs – all of which can save a life.