Whether you suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in your place of work or in the Hospital Emergency Room, defibrillation is THE definitive treatment... An AED or Automated External Defibrillator is a small, portable device used on victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. It analyzes the heart's electrical activity and prompts the user to deliver a shock if it decides the heart needs it. By actuating a button, a shock is delivered to the heart by the AED through the pads placed on the chest. The goal is to convert the disabling rhythm to a normal (pulse producing) rhythm and restore healthy heart function. The sooner the AED is used, the more likely the victim will survive.
AEDs are simple in design and may be used by any individual who has completed minimal training. They are specially designed for easy use by the first person to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency. This person can be an emergency medical services worker, a firefighter or police officer, or it can be a layperson with minimal AED training (click here for more information about our training solutions). Patient care is typically transferred to the emergency medical personnel once they arrive on scene. Having an AED on-site helps reduce the time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in surviving sudden cardiac arrest. Remember, every minute that passes before defibrillation reduces survival rates by 7-10 percent (see chart on previous page).
"The American Heart Association strongly encourages the [establishment of] AED programs to increase the chances of survival for people with heart related emergencies. With an AED program a person will be better prepared to save the life of a co-worker, friend, family member, or stranger. AEDs have helped save many lives. With a good implementation plan and proper training, one can help save more lives. The goal of every AED program is to deliver defibrillation to a sudden cardiac arrest victim within 3 to 5 minutes of collapse."*
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*American Heart Association Brochure 70-2232 R7/03, "Learn and Live"