Earlier this year, Diane Robinson, a minister on staff at St. James United Church reflected on how valuable the AED at her church was last Christmas Eve when it saved her own life during cardiac arrest. Robinson said the AED had been installed two months prior to the device being deployed for the first time, on her. A church coworker, Rev. Laura Sundberg, was able to apply the AED and perform CPR with a 911 operator’s assistance. Nearly 8.5 minutes later, the paramedics arrived to take over with advanced care. (Original story.)
Thanks to the quick actions of Sundberg, Robinson’s life was saved. For every 60 seconds that pass without CPR or defibrillation, chances of survival for a person in cardiac arrest drops by 10%. Within 4-5 minutes, brain damage begins to occur due to the lack of oxygenated blood. In the U.S. alone, approximately 390,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest each year.
Primarily due to lack of public awareness and willingness to take immediate action as a bystander, the national average of cardiac arrest survivability in the U.S. remains less than 10%. Survivability rates do vary depending on where you are located. According the USA Today, Omaha’s survival rate is a dismal 3%, while Seattle’s survival rate is 45% and showed that citizens performed CPR in 44% of cardiac arrest events measured.
Automated External Defibrillators have been around for decades, yet they are still not as commonly known to the general public as well as other community safety devices, like a fire extinguisher. AEDs are easy to use by anyone as they provide voice instructions to the user, guiding them through the rescue process and will not shock unless the AED detects that the patient’s heart rhythm requires it.
AEDs are becoming more common than in years past, however, there is much room for improvement in public awareness of AEDs, implementing AED programs and training individuals in the use of AEDs and CPR. Defibrillators should be widely available in the public access community, including schools, gyms, churches, grocery stores, malls and workplaces. With increased visibility and awareness of AEDs, an increase in survivability and “heart safe” communities will increase as well.
If your organization, school or business is ready to implement an AED program and provide peace of mind for those around you, check out our line of products today or call a dedicated AED Specialist at 855-233-0266 today!