The answer is YES! And here’s why:
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest (an abrupt loss of heart function).
The good news is that cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated quickly! The development of the AED, which automatically analyzes a heart rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a shock when necessary, enabled the shocks to be given by rescuers who aren’t medical professionals making it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required.
Unfortunately, anyone can experience a heart attack and it can happen anywhere at any time. Often you see headlines where lives were saved at restaurants, sporting events, social galas, churches, gyms, airports and much more by using an AED. Without an AED on site, the only thing bystanders can do is call for help and hope it arrives in time.
Having an AED on site is the first step toward first response rather than anticipating timely help to save a life. But without proper training, an AED is rendered useless.
Keeping your AED in an easily accessible location is key, but training multiple people on how to use it is critical!
Let’s Review Some Common Questions About AEDs
Are AEDs safe to use? Yes, by anyone who’s been trained to operate them. Studies have shown that 90 percent of the time AEDs are able to detect a rhythm that should be defibrillated. And 95 percent of the time they are able to recommend NOT shocking when the computer shows defibrillation is not indicated.
How does an AED work? There’s a built-in computer that checks a victim’s heart rhythm through adhesive electrodes. The computer calculates whether defibrillation is needed. If it is, a recorded voice tells the rescuer to press the shock button on the AED. This shock momentarily stuns the heart and stops all activity. It gives the heart the chance to resume beating effectively. Instructions guide the trained user through the process.
If an AED instructs you through the process, why is training necessary? People with first aid training are able to recognize wether or not an AED is actually needed. Users should be trained in CPR and AED use. Training increases the confidence of responders, eliminating the fear that prevents others to act. Knowledge of how to apply this life-saving equipment to a person is essential. Though the AED does provide basic instructions and guidance throughout the process, certified training makes a huge difference in the outcome of survival for the victim.
How easy is training and how can I get it? The average AED/CPR and First Aid Training is about 5 hours in length and very simple. There are various training courses available which can range from simply AED & CPR Training to training that includes these as well as pediatric care and first aid. There are several ways to locate training, including visiting the American Red Cross’s website, The American Heart Association’s website, or if you are in the Los Angeles, CA area you can visit our website to request AMRC Certified AED/CPR training here!
Remember: Cardiac arrest knows no age, sex or weight limits and can occur at any time to anyone. Having an AEDs can greatly increase survival rates and without using an AED the clock is ticking for a person’s survival. AEDs are worth investing in and you never know if one day you may need one to save a life or for someone to possibly save yours.