Saving Lives with an AED
Why it's important to have an AED within 4 minutes
The American Red Cross states that 300,000 people in the US die every year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. They have also determined that 50,000 of these deaths could have been prevented if the proper procedures were taken, including the Cardiac Chain of Survival. An integral part of this Chain of Survival is the help of a first responder who is trained to use an Automatic External Defibrillator or AED.
In order for a first responder to be most effective, American Red Cross recommends that an AED be within 4 minutes of every person in the US. A victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest is approximately 60% more likely to survive if he or she receives help within 4 minutes. In rural and metropolitan areas, it can take 10 minutes for traditional emergency responders to arrive, reducing the chances of survival to near zero. This means that AEDs should be located in everyday settings and that people other than medical professionals should be trained to use an AED to administer support.
In addition to traditional healthcare settings, the most important places for AEDs to be located are in the workplace and at home where coworkers and family members will be able to respond immediately in an emergency. Any person can receive training from local charitable organizations such as chapters of the Red Cross and American Heart Association.
The AED - State-of-the-Art Technology
While training is required to operate a defibrillator in case of emergency, AEDs are designed to automatically determine what sort of response is needed. This diagnostic technology helps prevent first responders from making mistakes. Many AEDs not only determine what response is needed, but administer it if possible. Other AEDs are still able to determine what course of action is necessary and instruct the responder on the correct procedures.
This advanced technology is critical to increasing the chances for survival during an emergency, especially when the first responder is not a medical professional.
There is no doubt that every healthcare setting should include an AED and that every medical professional should be trained in the Cardiac Chain of Survival. Different defibrillators are available for medical professionals and should be present in every hospital, outpatient medical facility and clinic.