AED, It's Easy as 123
The American Heart Association says that each year there are approximately 356,000 victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Less than 10% of victims survive. Sudden cardiac arrest is not limited to the older population. It can strike men, women, and children of any age. Often going into cardiac arrest is the first time a person realizes that they have an underlying heart condition. The good news is that providing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) more than doubles a victim’s chance of survival.
An AED is an automated external defibrillator. It is a light weight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. Inside is a built-in computer that calculates if defibrillation is needed. If it is, a recorded voice prompts the user to press the shock button on the AED. The shock can potentially stop an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and allow a normal rhythm to resume. Because the machine reads the electrical system of the individual it is being used on, it will only delivery a shock when necessary. The user does not need to worry that their attempt to save a life could make the situation worse.
AEDs are commonly available in most offices and public buildings including schools, airports, hotels, shopping centers, sporting venues, etc. AEDs should be available in any space, public or private, where there are large numbers of people present. Other factors such as working outside in elevated temperatures, or overexerting oneself during physical activity can cause one’s heart rate to accelerate and go into an unstable condition, often leading to cardiac arrest. Many recreation centers have an AED available near either the tennis court, basketball court, gym, etc.
You never know when an emergency will occur. The average response time for first responders after 911 is called is 8-12 minutes. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by approximately 10%. Having access to an AED, and knowing how to use it is crucial in an emergency. It should be placed in a highly trafficked area with appropriate signage. AED’s should be part of every emergency response plan, along with CPR and First Aid. By having them available, your camp is allowing staff, volunteers, members, etc. to increase their safety in ensuring that something can be done immediately if a cardiac incident were to take place.
Anyone can use an AED. Training is recommended to help the user increase their comfort level, and confidence while operating the device. AED’s are intended for use by the public, and again most of them have audible voice prompts to guide users through the process. Non-medical personal who are trained in CPR often receive training on AED’s as well. Training can often be provided by the same company the AED was purchased from. The American Red Cross also offers AED training courses. Training requirements can vary from state to state. We recommend that all policies and procedures including AED training and safety be reviewed by your legal counsel to ensure they are compliant within your state law.
Church Mutual has partnered with AED Superstore, one of the largest AED distributers in the U. S. They have been providing AED solutions and services for over 15 years. Church Mutual and AED Superstore share a similar mission to protect the greater good. We have come together to offer Church Mutual policyholders exclusive discounts on AEDs, safety supplies, training and compliance assistance. Complete AED packages start at $999.00, but the potential to save lives is priceless. To learn more about this exceptional value-added service, please visit our AED webpage.
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The information contained in this article is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on this article. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in this article.