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.