Tag Archives: AED

Which Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is Right for You?

AED Buyer’s Guide: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing an AED

Why are AEDs so Important?

So you’ve decided to purchase an AED. Good for you! The statistics surrounding sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are sobering, but your decision to buy an Automated External Defibrillator for your home or workplace may save a life. Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we’re ready to help you find the one that’s best for you or your organization!

Did you know that more than 350,000 Americans suffer from cardiac arrest each year? Approximately 10,000 of these occur in the workplace (OSHA) and a staggering 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home. At least 20,000 lives could be saved annually by prompt use of AEDs (American Heart Association).

In other words, if you are called on to perform CPR or to administer a shock from an AED, you’re likely working to save the life of someone you know and love. The American Heart Association (AHA) also notes that communities with AED programs, which include comprehensive CPR and AED training, have achieved survival rates of 40% or higher for cardiac arrest victims.

AEDs save lives by restoring normal heart rhythms in individuals who suffer sudden cardiac arrest.

An AED is a small, portable and user-friendly electronic device that can automatically diagnose and respond to life-threatening heart rhythms. Most AEDs provide simple, easy-to-follow audio and visual instructions that bystanders can quickly comprehend and apply. Some AEDs advise the user when to administer the shock, while other AEDs may automatically apply a shock if the heart is arrhythmic.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s everything you need to know about finding the right AED for your home or business.

1) Price

As with any technology, prices for AEDs vary widely. When considering price, think about your needs, your training, and how often and under what conditions your AED is likely to be used.

recertified Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 comes in at a modest $595 while a new Zoll AED Pro is priced at $2895. Professionals rescuers can appreciate the Zoll’s See-Thru CPR® feature, which allows them to see a patient’s underlying cardiac rhythm during resuscitation efforts. This feature enables more consistent, interruption-free compressions.

2) Pads

When it comes to AED pads, one-size-fits-all isn’t an option. Broadly speaking, there are two types of AED pads: Adult and pediatric. Consider the population you’re most likely to use your AED on and purchase your equipment accordingly. If, for example, your AED is placed on a shop floor or in a retirement community, it’s unlikely you’ll need pediatric pads! If your AED is going to be placed in a school setting, however, you may want to consider a school AED package that includes both adult and pediatric pads.

3) Batteries

Pretty much every AED manufacturer has a unique battery that’s patented for the exclusive use in their machines. Although most AED batteries are non-rechargeable, devices with rechargeable batteries are also available. Some AEDs, like the Zoll AED Plus, even use standard consumer 123 lithium batteries!

Once again, how you plan on using your device should determine whether you select a unit with a rechargeable battery or one with a non-rechargeable battery. Bottom line: If you’re a professional who regularly uses an AED, a rechargeable battery may be right for you. CPR and AED instructors may also benefit from rechargeable training units such as the Defibtech Lifeline AED Trainer. However, If your AED is rarely used, a low-maintenance non-rechargeable battery (with a longer lifespan) may be the best bet.

Remember, a well-charged and up-to-date AED battery is essential to the proper functioning of your device! If you are purchasing an AED for your home or office, we highlyrecommend that you to invest in an AED Compliance Management Program.

4) IP Rating

Every AED has an IP code. This “International Protection Rating” or “Ingress Protection Rating” is a code which classifies the level of protection an electrical device (like an AED) provides against liquid and dust. If you’re shopping for a poolside AED, look for a high IP rating and consider a waterproof Pelican Case.

5) Size

If you’re planning on mounting your AED cabinet to the wall and forgetting about it until your compliance management program sends you a maintenance reminder, then size doesn’t matter. However, if your AED follows you wherever your team travels, then you’ll want to find a light and compact unit, like the Philips HeartStart OnSite AED.

For more information about purchasing a new or recertified AED or to schedule a free consultation, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

8 Pool Safety Tips and AED Best Practices for a Safe, Happy, and Healthy Summer!

Why is Pool Safety Important?

As visions of summer vacation dance in the minds of kids, parents, and teachers, it’s time to either start preparing your backyard pool for the flocks of neighborhood children or to renew that expired pool membership!

Before you take that first plunge into the deep end, however, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the importance of pool safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children 1 to 4 than anything else except birth defects.”

In a ten-year period from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 drowning deaths in the United States each year. That’s more than 10 deaths per day!

Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we want to make sure that everyone stays safe this glorious summer!

Tip #1: Make Sure Your Poolside Guests Know How to Swim!

May is National Water Safety Month and we think it’s the perfect time to enroll your child in swim lessons. Here’s a statistic we can get behind: the CDC estimates that the risk of drowning is decreased by nearly 90% when young children take swimming lessons. Naturally, grown-ups and teens can benefit from refresher courses, First Aid classes, CPR certification, or lifeguarding classes. Check out your local Parks & Recreation schedule or try a nearby YMCA or Red Cross.

Tip #2: Invest in Personal Flotation Devices and Life Saving Equipment

If you have a pool, you need personal flotation devices and life-saving equipment. We recommend that all non-swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or personal flotation device—even in the shallow end! We agree, those little donut-shaped swimmies and dinosaur floaties are super cute and noodles are tons of fun, but they’re not designed to prevent drowning.

Tip #3: Know the Signs of Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Contrary to every splashy Hollywood movie ever released, a person who is drowning probably won’t wave their hands in the air and cry desperately for help. They’ll be too busy trying to breathe to use that precious oxygen for shouting. More often than not, death by drowning is silent, so keep your eyes and your ears open.

Drowning Warning Signs

If your guest has gone silent and still in the water, check in and ask them to respond verbally. If the person is unable to respond, or their expression is blank, get them out of the water immediately!

Symptoms of Dry (or Secondary) Drowning

Dry drowning, or secondary drowning is also a very real danger. The American Osteopathic Association writes: “Dry and secondary drowning can occur after inhaling water through the nose or mouth. In cases of dry drowning, the water triggers a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up and impact breathing. Unlike dry drowning, delayed or secondary drowning occurs when swimmers have taken water into their lungs. The water builds up over time, eventually causing breathing difficulties.”

Tip # 4: Designate a “Lifeguard”

If you’re hosting a pool party, hiring a lifeguard may seem equal parts excessive and over-cautious, but it may be worth considering. First Aid and poolside CPR-certified lifeguards typically earn $10-15 an hour and are worth every penny in peace of mind. For smaller, family affairs, be sure to select a strong swimmer who is also CPR or First Aid certified as your designated watcher.

Tip #5: Invest in a First Aid Kit and an AED

There’s a reason why so many states have passed AED Legislation mandating the placement of AEDs in schools and sporting facilities. For a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), an AED can be a lifesaver. AEDs are designed for use in a variety of adverse conditions.

If you need to use an AED on someone who has been swimming or has recently been pulled from the pool, remove any clothing and dry his or her chest as thoroughly as possible. Be sure there are no puddles around you, the patient, or the AED. Apply the pads and follow the device’s voice prompts. Every AED cautions responders and bystanders to stand clear of the patient.

Tip # 6: Pick a Swim Buddy!

Younger kids should have always have a swim buddy! Make sure your young swimmers can identify their swimming buddy and encourage clear communication. Even with the buddy system in place, never leave children unattended in the pool.

Tip # 7: Safety First!

You should check your local ordinances to make sure that your pool enclosure is in compliance with local regulations. Always securely lock your pool area when you’re not using it. And finally, make sure that you have access to a phone (preferably a water-resistant one) at all times in the case of an emergency.

Tip #8: Jump On In! (Feet-first, of Course!)

Diving headfirst into swimming pool can result in serious injury or death. Teach children how to jump into a pool feet-first and away from the pool’s concrete edge. Cannonballs are encouraged!

Get yourself pool-ready and water-safe. Enroll in a First Aid and AED Certification course today. Call our team at 866-349-4362 or visit AED.com or CardioPartners.com for more information.

Your Reasons for Not Learning CPR Probably Aren’t Valid

Getting Your CPR and First Aid Certification is Easier than You Think

As a young athlete, I looked on anxiously as my coach responded confidently and calmly when a teammate collapsed from heat exhaustion and dehydration. I watched my mother howl in pain after being shot in the toe by a reveler’s stray New Year’s Eve bullet (true story). Although I had no real clue how to perform it, I steeled myself for the Heimlich when I watched my daughter inhale her first fish taco at an unsightly speed.

Over the years, I’ve stanched countless bloody noses and assessed minor sprains and major bruises, each time wondering, “Am I doing this correctly?”

Still, to my embarrassment, I never managed to take the plunge and sign up for a CPR and First Aid class.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably thought about getting your CPR and First Aid certifications but just never quite got around to it. Recently, however, I started writing for Cardio Partners. Over the past few months I’ve written posts with titles like “10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR” and “The Importance of CPR and AEDs: A Survivor’s Story” and found myself feeling increasingly unqualified to encourage others to sign up for CPR when I, myself, had yet to get certified.

So I decided to do something about it. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself as the lone writer in a small group of amiable YMCA of Middle Tennessee employees, compressing a steady rhythm on the chest of a well-used CPR manikin as my partners held the oxygen mask over its face, counted to 30, delivered rescue breaths, and prepared the AED to administer its life-saving shock.

Two and a half hours later, I was the proud holder of Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, Basic First Aid, and Emergency Oxygen certification cards.

I Don’t Have the Time to Take a CPR Class!

Sound familiar? After discovering that “blended” classes incorporating online training with in-person live skills sessions were offered at my local Y, I realized that my biggest excuse was no longer valid.

Within moments of registering for the course, I received an email from the instructor with a link to the online portion of the course. Initially, I was a bit daunted by the sheer number of lessons required — I opted to become certified not only in CPR/AED, but also in Basic First Aid and Emergency Oxygen administration and had 46 lessons to complete and 3 exams to pass.

I soon discovered, however, that the lessons were short, easy-to-follow, and well-constructed.

Each lesson built nicely upon the one that preceded it and I found myself well-prepared to ace each of the three online exams.

Conveniently, I was able to complete the course in stages and at my own pace. Although it took me five days and a total of four hours to complete, I’m sure that quicker studies than myself could do so in a single session in as little as three hours.

I’m Waaaay Too Squeamish to Take a First Aid Course!

Yup. That’s me. I’m the person in the movie theater who covers her eyes and plugs her ears and whispers, “Is it over yet? Can I look?”

If I survived, you’re going to be just fine.

The videos are predictably staged, the blood is clearly fake, and the burns are obviously of the latex variety. Yeah, you’ll cringe a time or two, but you’ll make it.

I’m the Last Person You’d Want Performing CPR or First Aid!

Prior to completing the course, I’d have to say that statement fit me pretty well. Now that I’m far more confident in my abilities (while still being well aware of my limitations) I’d say that you could do worse than having me by your side in an emergency.

Michelle Mattox, a CPR/AED/First Aid/O2 Instructor at the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA in Nashville has certified hundreds of people over the years and says that she’s gotten a ton of positive feedback from her students, “It’s more effective when people take an online and in-person class because they get a chance to see it, hear it, and be taught the basics at their own pace and then in the class they can really focus on their skills and getting it right. It’s easier to digest that way. Pretty much everybody that I’ve talked to tells me that they feel more confident and that they know what to do.”

CPR Training is Too Expensive!

Costs may vary from provider to provider, but let me assure you, it’s quite reasonable. I recommend checking out the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or your local YMCA for an affordable course near you. Or, to arrange a training for your workplace or organization, call Cardio Partners or AED.com at 866-349-4362 or send an email to customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Char Vandermeer is a freelance copywriter based in Nashville, TN. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading, gardening, kayaking, and soaking up the sunshine with her family.

10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR

The Importance of CPR Training and Certification

If you’re still cooking up your resolutions for the new year, we have a humble suggestion for you: add CPR training to your list. CPR helps keep blood and oxygen flowing and dramatically increases the chances of survival in those who suffer a cardiac arrest.

Here are 10 great reasons why you should learn CPR this year:

Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in the United States

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming the lives of more than 600,000 people each year.

CPR Saves Lives

While heart disease is on the rise, CPR can help save lives. According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurred in 2016. Sadly, 88% of people who suffer from a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital die. However, when properly and promptly performed, CPR can dramatically improve person’s chance of survival.  

Anyone Can Learn CPR

Anyone can learn CPR and everyone should. The American Heart Association reports that 70% of Americans feel helpless to act in the event of a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to effectively administer CPR or their training has lapsed.

The Life You Save May Be That of a Loved One

Did you know that four out of five cardiac arrests occur at home? Not only that, but many victims of sudden cardiac arrest appear healthy and may not have any known heart diseases or risk factors. Performing CPR promptly may save the life of someone you love.

Prevent Brain Death

Brain death occurs four to six minutes after the heart stops breathing. CPR effectively keeps blood flowing and provides oxygen to the brain and other vital organs, giving the victim a better chance for full recovery. Everyday Health reports that If CPR is given within the first two minutes of cardiac arrest, the chances of survival double.

CPR Makes You Smarter

Let’s face it, by the time you complete CPR training, you’ll know something that you didn’t know before you started!

You’ll Feel Confident in the Event of A Cardiac Emergency

CPR classes will equip you with the tools and the confidence you need to transform yourself from the role of bystander to lifesaver. CPR certification will give you the necessary training to make the right decisions in the event of a cardiac emergency.

CPR Classes are Fun

By nature, CPR classes are hands-on and interactive. While there may be some online training involved, course participants will learn how to properly execute chest compressions in a fun and supportive environment.

You’ll Test Your Musical Knowledge

The tempo at which you should give chest compressions lines up nicely with popular musical gems such as the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles, and “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” by country duo Big and Rich.

Join the 3 Percent

An online resource for emergency medical services personnel, EMS1, notes that “Although evidence indicates that bystander CPR and AED use can significantly improve survival and outcomes from cardiac arrest, each year less than 3% of the U.S. population receives CPR training, leaving many bystanders unprepared to respond to cardiac arrest.” Become a part of the solution and sign up for a CPR training course today.


Cardio Partners is a trusted nationwide CPR training center
. We offer CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Commotio Cordis: Secret Killer in Young Athletes

Safety always comes before the game, especially when young people are involved. With sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) being the number one cause of death among student athletes, parents and coaches must be prepared for such an unimaginable event. Often times, SCA occurs in student athletes for one of these three reasons: A blow to the chest (Commotio Cordis); structural heart defects (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome, etc.); or electrical heart defects (long QT syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson White Syndromes, etc.).

Commotio Cordis is Latin for “agitation of the heart,” which occurs when there is a blow to the chest between heartbeats. This can trigger a SCA. According to a report by the UT Southwestern Medical Center, many of these incidents take place when youths are playing baseball, where the ball has the ability to travel at very high speeds. For example, when a student athlete is struck in the chest with a baseball, the heart will go into ventricular fibrillation. This means the heart will begin an uncoordinated quivering, and unless an external automatic defibrillator (AED) is present to shock the heart back into its appropriate rhythm, it will eventually stop.

Though Commotio Cordis is considered a rare event, is still the second most common cause of sudden death among athletes. It is most common in teenage boys, usually dropping off around the age of 20. The age factor —according to the UT report — could be related to the strengthening of the chest wall and a decline in playing sports after high school. Regardless, coaches and parents should learn to recognize the signs of Commotio Cordis in order to ensure the right precautions are taken for the safety of these athletes.

Be AED and CPR ready should you notice any of the below risk factors in a young athlete, especially if it follows trauma to the chest:

  • Fainting or seizures during or after exercising
  • Any indication of chest pains
  • Unexplained shortness of breath or long time to catch breath

http://www.aed.com/aed-packages-page/athletic-aed-packages.html

 

Why We Need AEDs in Schools

 

With school back in full swing again, teachers, coaches and other faculty members must strive to create a safe environment for every child that walks through their doors. Having that responsibility is big, but creating a little piece of mind by implementing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools is even bigger. When we lose nearly 7,000 young people to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, it’s hard not to concern ourselves with the best way to respond should it strike during school hours. Not every school can afford to have emergency personnel on the premises, so having a life-saving source is key — especially when the AED is designed to walk any rescuer through defibrillation and CPR using voice prompts.

 

Despite the fact SCA can strike at any time in people of all ages and fitness levels, only 17 out of 50 states in the U.S. are required to install AEDs in schools, says an analysis published in the Journal of the American College Cardiology. This seems like an impossible number of states without the requirement for AEDs in schools, especially considering that defibrillation within three minutes of SCA can increase a person’s survival to 70 percent.

 

Often times, SCA occurs in young persons between the ages 10-19 years old; however, it can still strike in children of all ages without warning. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, two-thirds of SCA-related deaths in children happen during exercise or activity. With this in mind, preparation for such a tragic event can start with simple CPR, AED and first training.

 

Knowing that AEDs are crucial to increasing someone’s survival rate, there’s no question as to why they’re needed in schools. So, before investing in an AED at your facility, you first want to be sure it’s affordable, reliable and, most importantly, easy to use. Fortunately, models like the Zoll AED Plus and the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P can offer a solution. Both of these affordable, lifesaving devices use voice prompts, which helps guide any rescuer through the resuscitation process. This allows the user to feel confident in their rescuing abilities during a very high stress situation.

Opioid Overdoses and Cardiac Arrest

EMS responders play a critical role in the treatment and, potentially, the prevention of the opioid epidemic we face today. Due to the staggering amount of deaths to opioid overdoses, it has been deemed a public health crisis. Opioids are responsible for decreasing the sensation of pain for the user by stimulating certain receptors in the brain. The lack of any perceived pain induces a feeling of euphoria- the feeling chased by opioid abusers.

The umbrella of opioids include heroin and several prescription painkillers such as methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl. During an opioid overdose, the patient experiences difficulty breathing and often respiratory arrest. Unfortunately, following respiratory arrest, a common secondary outcome of an opioid overdose occurs: cardiac arrest.

EMS responders often use naloxone which reverses the effects of opioid overdose, making it possible for the patient to breathe again. This drug is time sensitive and administering it can be a risky decision. Naloxone can prompt narcotic withdrawal symptoms and if it is administered too aggressively, the patient may have violent reactions. Since cardiac arrest frequently follows respiratory arrest, it is important to check the patient’s pulse and have an AED nearby in case the patient needs to be resuscitated. It is important to abide by the local rules if you have to administer naloxone to a patient in cardiac arrest.

With the help of properly and safely administered naloxone and timely use of an AED, many lives can and will be saved. EMS responders play a vital role in helping to decrease opioid overdoses every day. With the proper rehabilitation and education opportunities, this public health crisis may, one day, be less prevalent.

For more information about cardiac emergency preparedness, please visit www.aed.com.