A defibrillator (AED) can save lives when sudden cardiac arrest due to arrhythmia (an abnormal electrical signal in the heart). Symptoms of cardiac arrest are chest pain or loss of consciousness. The AED restores the heart’s normal electrical signal…if the heart is not defibrillated in 3 minutes or less death or serious incapacitation will occur.
Because one of the main causes of death in the United States is cardiovascular disease; more and more businesses and employers are installing AED’s and AED programs in the work place to add to their business’s emergency medical readiness, practices and programs. AEDs will save lives that why AED certification is the necessary for rescuers.
AED/CPR training and certifications are offered by The American Heart Association, The American Red Cross, The American Safety and Health Institute as well as AED manufacturers like Medtronic Physio-Control (LifePak) and Cardiac Science (PowerHeart)…all offer AED/CPR training classes to business, non-profits and commercial organizations.
For residences AED/CPR training is done in homes using a DVD without a facilitator. Residences don’t get (or need) AED/CPR certification. Certification only occurs when a training class is paired with a national AED/CPR certifying organization’s skills evaluation methodology.
During sudden cardiac arrest, your brain and other vital organs are being starved of blood and oxygen which carries live saving nutrients. You can die in minutes and/or survive but sustain permanent damage to your brain and other organs. The heart’s rhythm must be restored fast since every minute that passes is critical to your chance of survival and the amount of damage you sustain.
When the electrodes or pads of automated external defibrillator capable of automatic operation are attached to your chest, these electrodes can detect the heart’s rhythm during cardiac arrest and automatically delivers an electric shock to get your heart beating again.
Sudden cardiac arrest happens when your heart’s electrical activity is disrupted and the heartbeat gets dangerously fast (ventricular tachycardia) or chaotic (ventricular fibrillation). Your heart stops beating effectively and does not adequately pump blood because of these irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmia).
A non trained bystander that acts quickly and calls 911 to summon emergency medical services to the scene before using the AED can then grab an “automatic operation” defibrillator with voice prompts and easily connect it to your chest to allow the AED to evaluate your heart rhythm. If your heart rhythm can be treated with an electric shock, the AED automatically sends an electrical shock to get your heart back into a normal rhythm.
Only defibrillation can restore the heart’s normal rhythm and ultimately save your life although cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is important to use to keep some blood flowing to your heart and brain.
Automated external defibrillators are now commonly available in businesses, residences, homes, malls, office buildings, sports arenas, golf courses, cruise ships, schools, casinos, airports and airplanes any many, many public locations governed by various state public access defibrillation laws.
Placing an automated external defibrillator in homes is rapidly increasing because you don’t lose valuable minutes waiting for 911 to arrive with an AED. In an emergency, the automated external defibrillator offers step-by-step voice instructions to guide a user through the defibrillation process. The defibrillator explains how to check for breathing and a pulse and how to position electrode pads on the person’s chest.
Once the pads are in place, the AED automatically analyzes the person’s heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. The machine instructs the user to push a button to deliver the shock and guides users through cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Putting automated external defibrillators in business and homes which definition are populated by lots of people can save thousands of lives each year. If anyone collapses from sudden cardiac arrest in a home or business, a family member, friend or fellow employee could quickly grab the office or home AED and use it to save a life.
If you decide to get an automated external defibrillator for your home or office, take an AED/CPR training class certified by nationally recognized organizations and make sure you follow the training video, operating and maintenance instructions provided by manufacturer.