5 Things You Should Know About an AED
It’s all about Time
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike a person in an instant. Once a person falls in cardiac arrest, they have a 5-7 minute window until permanent brain damage occurs and 10 minutes until death. The American Heart Association suggests that an AED be placed in a central location, with a goal of using an AED within 3 minutes from the time the victim collapses. When considering implementation. a site assessment will help determine the most effective location for the AED.
Simple to Use, Even for You
AED technology has advanced over the years. They have become user friendly and have simple features such as CPR coaching. During a cardiac event, the AED can analyze a heart rhythm, record an EKG, provide simple voice prompts, and deliver a shock.
Safe and Effective for Everyone
All AEDs on the market are capable of detecting at least two different types of heart arrhythmias. The treatable heart rhythms are ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. When the device senses a shockable rhythm, it prepares to deliver therapy to the patient. In the event the person has collapsed for a non-cardiovascular reason the AED will instruct the responder to start CPR and will not advise a shock. AEDs are absolutely accurate in detecting the heart arrhythmias making them safe and effective for anyone to use.
Reliability is in the Design
During an emergency cardiac event, the victim is relying on the AED to save their life. AEDs are designed to perform self-tests to ensure the components are working correctly. They have visual and audible alerts to signify when they need servicing. Pads and batteries are checked on a daily or weekly basis, while some machines perform a full test shock once a month. AED manufactures realize the importance of having a reliable AED, so you can count on the AED to work in coordination with proper maintenance.
Maintenance on an AED is simple, but imperative. It’s necessary to conduct a routine monthly check on the device and supplies. Be sure to reference the user manual for more information on maintenance checks. Routine checks consist of simple things such as ensuring that the battery is working properly, the pads are not expired, and the information is documented on an inspection tag. Batteries have a useful life that can range from 2-5 years depending on the model. Pads typically expire after 2 years, and they display the expiration date on the packaging. It is helpful to keep spare AED Supplies available in case it’s needed.
Understanding the importance of an AED can effectively save a life. Having an AED device that is a close proximity to common areas will quicken shock delivery. Simplicity develops confidence in a first responder. Reliability in an AED ensures the device will work when needed. In the face of an emergency know that the AED is a powerful tool that saves lives.