Importance of AEDs in Public Places
The Importance of AEDs in public places cannot be over-emphasized. About 80% of deaths associated with Heart related emergencies happen in places where AEDs are not in place,. Chances of survival of persons exposed to such medical conditions are higher in public places where AED is available.
Deaths associated with sudden cardiac arrest can be prevented by a timely intervention of a First Responder. Generally, First Responders are quipped with and trained to use AEDs. On the other hand, a Lay Responder with an available AED can save life. If someone suffers from serious injury or heart attack while at work, a colleague that knows CPR and how to use AED can keep the victim alive until advanced help arrives.
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator and it is a handy, easy-to-use, life-saving device that detects an irregular heart rhythm, disrupts the electrical activity and restores it back to normal. The machine achieves this by delivering an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can convert an unusual heart beat to normal following a cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. It leads to death if not treated within minutes of its occurrence because Every second counts in cardiac arrest.
Before now, one may think that AEDs are only used in hospitals, but this is not the case because Emergencies can occur anywhere, anyday and anytime. Having an AED available in public places can increase the survival rate of someone having a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. Malfunction in the electrical conductivity of the heart is referred to as sudden cardiac arrest while heart attack is a blood circulation problem.. However heart attack increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation ) if applied together with AED can enhance the survival rate until advanced help arrives. Hence the need for AEDs in public places like Schools, Religious Centers, Hotels, Airports, Ports/dockyards, Residential areas, Restaurants, Sport centers, Shopping malls, Bus stations, Offices and Construction sites. You can read more on What is CPR in First Aid article on my blog site.
How Does an AED work?
An AED system comprises of an AED device and accessories, such as pad electrodes, a battery, and, an adapter if applicable. The user receives verbal instructions from the device.
- To use an AED, kindly turn it on by either pressing the “on” button or lifting the lid. A voice prompt comes up once the AED is on, which will tell you everything you need to do. Some automatically turns on once the user opens the lid.
- In the case of sudden cardiac arrest, the user places two sticky pads with sensors (otherwise known as electrodes) on the chest of the person.
- Information about the person’s heart rhythm is sent by the electrodes to a processor in the AED, which studies the rhythm and advices whether an electric shock is needed or not.
- If the AED recommends a shock, it will tell you to stay clear of the person. Ensure that no one is touching the person before you press the “shock” button.
- AED uses voice prompts to instruct when to press a button to give a shock if a defibrillation shock is required. In some devices the AED goes ahead to deliver the shock without the intervention of the user once the voice prompt announces that a shock is going to be given.
Who can Operate an AED
Training in the use of AED is highly recommended though it is not hard to operate one. Law enforcement Officers, Fire Service Personnel, Flight Attendants, Security Guards and other First Responders who have CPR skills can use AEDs. Although formal training in the use of an AED is not required, it is recommended to help the first responders increase their level of confidence and mastery. However, AEDs are intended for use by the general public and the device uses loud voice prompts to direct the user on what to do. In Nigeria, You can get a detailed information about AED and CPR training by visiting this site www.hei.org.ng.