You have probably seen AEDs in airports or at your local fitness center, but what about your workplace or other spots you frequent? Are there AEDs located anywhere? Have you seen them? Would you know what one looks like and how to use it in an emergency? Well…it’s time to check that out, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
Step # 1: You may be wondering what the abbreviation stands for. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is a device about the size of a small, laptop computer that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. The shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own. AEDs are easy to operate! They use voice prompts to instruct the rescuer. Once the machine is turned on, the rescuer is prompted to apply two pads (provided with the AED) to the victim’s chest. Once applied, the AED will begin to monitor the victim’s heart rhythm. If a “shockable” rhythm is detected, the machine will charge itself and instruct the rescuer to stand clear of the victim and to press the shock button.
Seems like a good device to have around, right?!? Well, get this! In the time it takes you to read this article, sudden cardiac arrest will have claimed another victim. Statistics show that more than 250,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. If someone initiates the Cardiac Chain of Survival, and an Automated External Defibrillator is available at the time of the emergency, up to 50,000 of these deaths could be prevented. AEDs are not just a good idea, they are a life-saving, essential device that should be available everywhere! Hopefully by now, we have covered the first step and you see the value of an AED.
Step # 2: Now you are ready to check your workplace, church, or other areas where you know an AED is needed. You might be the person in charge or you may need to gather with your boss, co-workers, friends, or others to decide to make the purchase, find the funding, etc. Who can you go to now that you are looking for further information and want to purchase? Look no further than the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross. We are here to help facilitate the placement of AEDs into your workplaces, community centers, and other places where large groups of people gather. We will provide more detail, demonstrations, and beyond to help you in acquiring an AED where you need one! Just call us at 815-963-8471, and make sure to reference this article.
Step # 3: If you get this far, you are on your way to a much safer place because you are getting an AED! However, there is this one last, crucial step: Get TRAINED! Yes…an AED is easy to use, but training is necessary in order to understand the role of defibrillation in the broader context of the cardiac chain of survival. Training in CPR and AED skills will enable YOU, the rescuer, to use all the steps, thereby significantly increasing the victim’s chance of survival. This is a huge part of what we will discuss with you after you make the decision to purchase.
It really is as easy as 1-2-3 so give us a call, and let’s talk further about making our community a little safer. Call 815-963-8471 or visit rockriver.redcross.org.