Tag Archives: aeds

Key Differences Between a Heart Attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and a Stroke

Is it a Heart Attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or a Stroke?

They’re all serious conditions that require immediate medical attention but many people don’t fully understand the differences between these three common killers. Simply put, a heart attack is a circulatory problem, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an electrical malfunction in the heart, and a stroke is caused by a blood clot or ruptured blood vessel in the brain.  

In this article, we’ll help you understand what’s happening within the body during each of these medical emergencies. 

Although the risk factors may be the same from person to person, understanding the differences between these conditions can be a matter of life and death.

What’s a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks are, essentially, a circulation problem and they occur when blood flow to a person’s heart is severely reduced or blocked. Heart attacks can be relatively mild or very, very serious.

During a heart attack, an artery becomes clogged and cannot carry enough oxygen to the heart. The heart may continue to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the cardiac muscle will begin to die from lack of oxygen. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

You may be able to prevent a heart attack from occurring if you know what to look for andyou listen to your body! Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before the heart attack itself. The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

It’s well worth noting that women may experience symptoms of a heart attack differently from men. Even though heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the United States, women often fail to identify their symptoms as warning signs of a heart attack (American Heart Association). 

In addition to (or instead of) the symptoms listed above, women may experience pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, lightheadedness, fainting, flu-like symptoms or extreme fatigue.

What’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem and is caused when an individual’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, which prevents blood and oxygen from flowing to vital organs. Unlike a heart attack, SCA is always serious. Without the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart back into a healthy rhythm, death can occur within minutes.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack often telegraphs its arrival with clearly defined symptoms, SCA, however, can occur with little or no warning, as it did for SCA survivor Rob Seymour. Symptoms are immediate and dire: sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness, lack of breathing, and no pulse. During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and the organs of the body are deprived of oxygen. 

When the heart stops beating, death can occur within minutes. 

SCA can be caused by any number of events, such as ventricular fibrillation, a sudden blow to the chest, electrocution, drowning, drug abuse, heart attacks, cardiomyopathy, or hypothermia. Cardiac arrest can be reversible if it’s treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What’s a Stroke?

A stroke is a “brain attack” that can happen to anyone at any time and occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clogged or burst blood vessel. When blood flow to the brain is cut off, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are permanently lost (National Stroke Association).

Symptoms of Stroke

Using the acronym FAST, you just may be able to save someone’s life. If someone’s facebegins to droop or they’re complaining of numbness, ask them to smile. If the person’s smile is lopsided, they may be having a stroke. If their arm is weak or numb, ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is their speech slurred or strange? If someone is showing any of these symptoms, it’s time to call 9-1-1 immediately.

What You Can Do to Assist Someone Who is Experiencing a Heart Attack, SCA, or Having a Stroke?

If you witness someone suffering from a possible heart attack, SCA, or a stroke call 911 immediately. The operator may be able to help you administer compression-only CPR to the victim. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED. 

You never know when your actions could help save a life.

To become better equipped to offer assistance, sign up for first aid, CPR, and AED training today! Cardio Partners offers 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.

Saving Lives with Drone Delivery of AEDs

Transforming Emergency Cardiac Care with Drone-Delivered AEDs

You may have heard a thing or two about Amazon’s plans to use drones to deliver packages to your doorstep, but far more intriguing to all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com is the potential for drones to save lives.

We’ve spent some time discussing best Automated External Defibrillator (AED) practices including Finding the Best Location for Your AED and the importance of CPR and AED training, but perhaps the ultimate best practice and the biggest step we can take to improve sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival odds comes in the form of drone technology.

Jeremy Sherlock, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engineer at Alare Technologies, agrees. In a recent telephone interview, Sherlock noted that when it comes to cardiac arrest, “Every minute counts. Multi-rotor drones with hover capabilities have the ability to carry AEDs virtually anywhere. And, with an AED delivery service, communities will always have access to a rescue-ready AED, 24/7.”

Reducing the Time Between SCA and Defibrillation

Using drones to carry AEDs to people who are experiencing SCA could dramatically curtail the critical time between cardiac arrest and the first shock from an AED.

The more time a person spends in cardiac arrest before treatment, the lower their chance of survival becomes. The average response time for traditional first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes. For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, survival decreases by 7-10% (American Red Cross).

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen across the United States outside of a hospital setting. In an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) event, a person’s chance of survival is about 1 in 10. Reducing time to defibrillation is the most important factor for increasing survival in OHCA.

In a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, researchers noted that drone-delivered AEDs may beat ambulance trip times to the scenes of cardiac arrests.

“Unmanned aerial systems, commonly called drones, can be activated by a dispatcher and sent to an address provided by a 911 caller. The drone may carry an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the location of an OHCA so that a bystander can detach and use it. Theoretical geographical information system models have shown that drones carrying an AED can reduce response times in rural areas,” (jamanetwork.com).

Benefits of Using Drones to Deliver AEDs

Although not a reality quite yet, there are a number of potential benefits to delivering AEDs by drone.

Drone-Delivered AEDs are Speedy

Perhaps the most significant benefit is speed. Prototype medical drones can fly up to 62 mph and can fly directly to a victim’s location using a bystander’s cell phone GPS as the delivery target (U.S. Fire Administration).

Drone-Delivered AEDs Can Serve Communities Without Public-Access AED

“It really doesn’t require a whole lot of infrastructure. The AED would be sitting in a drone at all times, always rescue-ready. If you have a relatively large city, it would take just a few stations to have the whole city covered,” said Sherlock.

For communities without the resources to implement a public-access defibrillation program, drone-delivered AEDs can be an extremely cost-effective way to fill a public health need.

Drones Can Service Hard-to-Reach Locations

Whether an individual has collapsed in the thick of a traffic jam, on a high-rise balcony, or at home or in the middle of a remote national park or in a rural location, if there’s a cell signal, a drone-delivered AED has the potential to save a life.

“These heavy-lift, multi-rotor drones have hover capabilities and can go just about anywhere,” said Sherlock.

When Will Drone-Delivered AEDs Become Reality?

Soon. Very, very soon. Earlier this fall, the City of Reno and Flirtey, a drone delivery service, successfully completed first flights of a new drone as part the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The specialized, next-generation drone is capable of carrying heavier payloads further than ever before.

“Although we may be a couple of years from this becoming a viable technology, that has a lot more to do with FAA regulations than with the aircraft itself. We have the aircraft that’s capable of carrying this kind of weight and covering a very large area,” said Sherlock. “For safety reasons, however, current FAA regulations mandate that drone pilots must keep the aircraft within line of sight and they must be available to take manual control of the aircraft at any time. Obviously, that will have to change.”

Here at Cardio Partners, our mission is to foster heart-safe environments and to help improve the sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in schools, in our communities, and in the workplace. We are leaders in emergency prevention and ardent advocates in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). We are a complete cardiac solution provider, offering supply consultation, new and used FDA-approved defibrillation devices, and accessories. We also offer American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC)  AED, CPR, and First Aid training courses nationwide.

Follow Cardio Partners on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest AED-related news and updates. For more information about AEDs or CPR and First Aid courses, call us at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

California Enacts New AED Legislation

New Laws Mandate AEDs at Public Swimming Pools, Schools and More

Legislators across the country appear to have AEDs on their minds, and they continue to develop legislation to ensure that their constituents have access to life-saving technology in public places. In May, Tennessee enacted legislation requiring AEDs in schools and requiring teachers to have AED training. Late last month, California amended existing AED laws and joined Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon in requiring AEDs at public swimming pools.

AEDs Required at California Swimming Pools

The law, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 6, 2018, is summarized in the official Legislative Counsel’s Digest as follows, “This bill would require those public swimming pools, as defined, that are required to provide lifeguard services and that charge a direct fee to additionally provide an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) during pool operations, as specified. Because the failure to comply with these provisions would be a crime, the bill would create a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health, to issue best practices guidelines related to pool safety at K–12 schools, as specified.”

Assembly Bill 2009 Requires AEDs at Interscholastic Athletic Programs

Joining 17 other states that have enacted some form of AED legislation pertaining to schools, California now requires school districts’ public and charter schools that offer interscholastic athletic programs to:

  • Put an emergency action plan in place addressing, among other things, sudden cardiac arrest emergencies.
  • Acquire at least one AED for each public or charter school in the district (effective July 1, 2019) to be available on campus.
  • Encourage that AEDs be made available for use within 3-5 minutes of sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Ensure AEDs are made available to athletic trainers and coaches and other authorized individuals at athletic programs, on-campus activities, and events.
  • Ensure AEDs are properly inspected and maintained.

Fatal Heart Attack on Metrolink Prompts Changes to AED Laws

In August 2017, a man collapsed and died on an LA-bound Metrolink train. According to the LA Times, passengers performed CPR and called 911, but without an AED on board, they were unable to provide additional assistance. By the time the train arrived at Union Station, more than 30 minutes after the passenger had collapsed, it was too late.

Senate Bill 502, enacted on September 20, now requires public entities operating certain commuter rail systems to have an AED on board each train on or before July  1, 2020. Training of employees on AED use is encouraged, but not required.

New Construction, Renovations, and Tenant-improved Buildings Now Need an AED

Existing California laws mandated the placement of AEDs in certain newly constructed buildings with an occupancy of more than 200. This new addendum now requires “…certain occupied structures that are not owned or operated by any local government entity and are constructed on or after January 1, 2017, to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the premises. This bill would apply the AED requirements to certain structures that are constructed prior to January 1, 2017, and subject to subsequent modifications, renovations, or tenant improvements, as specified.”

A Summary of California’s AED Statutes

  • Any person who, in good faith and not for compensation, renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an AED at the scene of an emergency is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in rendering the emergency care.
  • AED registration is required.
  • AEDs should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • AED should be tested at least biannually and after each use.
  • When an AED is placed in a building, the building owner shall, at least once a year, notify the tenants as to the location of the AED units and provide information to tenants about who they can contact if they want to voluntarily take AED or CPR training.
  • Instructions for AED use should be posted in 14 point type next to the device.
  • AEDs are required in health studios and fitness centers.
  • AEDs are required in assembly buildings with an occupancy of greater than 300; business buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; educational buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; factory buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; institutional buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; mercantile buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; residential buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more, excluding single-family and multifamily dwelling units.
  • If the governing board of a school district or the governing body of a charter school requires a course in health education for graduation from high school, then instruction in performing compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be included in the course.
  • AEDs are required at public swimming pools.
  • Public and charter schools with interscholastic athletic programs must have AEDs.
  • Certain commuter trains must have AEDs (effective July 2020).

 

We’ll do our best to keep you up-to-date on the latest AED legislation. Subscribe to our blog for the latest AED news and updates. For more information about AED laws, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Please note: The information included in this post and on our website is not intended as legal advice. As legislation changes often, this post may inadvertently contain inaccurate or incomplete information. We urge you to contact your state representative should you require more information about current AED laws in your state.

A Complete Guide to AED Manufacturers

Finding the Right AED Manufacturer for Your AED Program

ZOLL, Physio-Control, Cardiac Science, Philips, HeartSine, Defibtech

First, we’d like to congratulate you on your decision to equip your school, community organization, office, or home with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Modern AEDs are small, portable and user-friendly electronic devices that automatically diagnose and respond to life-threatening heart rhythms. However, there are a number of different devices on the market and finding the one that works best for your organization is critical.

On-site AEDs can dramatically improve survival odds by significantly reducing the time between cardiac arrest and treatment. AEDs are battery-operated, compact, light, and portable. Because safeguards are programmed into each unit, regardless of manufacturer, users never have to worry about shocking a victim who has a heartbeat.

Anyone can use an AED. In fact, most AEDs provide simple, easy-to-follow audio and visual instructions that untrained 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.

As you consider your options, we encourage you to read our post, Which AED is Right for You, and make a list of your needs and priorities. Then, carefully consider the following manufacturers to find the AED that best fits your organization’s needs. For more information on funding your program, refer to our Grant Guide.

ZOLL

We covered the History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators, and Portable AEDs back in July, but it’s worth noting that ZOLL was founded in 1980 by one of the early pioneers of external cardiac stimulation, Dr. Paul M. Zoll. Today, Zoll Medical Corporation develops and markets a wide array of medical devices and software solutions that help save lives.

The ZOLL AED Plus and the ZOLL AED Pro, with their vivid green cases, are hard to miss. The AED Plus is the only AED with Real CPR Help®️. This feature offers real-time CPR feedback to help rescuers perform high-quality CPR and to more effectively save lives. While only half of all sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims need defibrillation, all of them need effective CPR. Real CPR guides rescuers through CPR and even advises them to “push harder,” if necessary.

The ZOLL AED Pro is designed with professional rescuers in mind and supports Basic Life Support as well as Advanced Life Support Professional. The high-resolution LCD display allows responders to visualize the patient’s ECG while performing CPR.

Cardiac Science

Cardiac Science, headquartered in Wisconsin, designs, manufactures and markets Powerheart® AEDs. The Powerheart G3 comes with an impressive 7-year warranty and the Powerheart G5 is the first FDA-approved AED to include fully automatic shock delivery, dual-language (English/Spanish) functionality, and variable escalating energy options. The device’s easy, intuitive operation is perfect for first-time responders and seasoned professionals.

To use, simply open the AED lid to activate the device. The Cardiac Science RescueCoach guides users through a rescue. Easy-to-follow text prompts make the Powerheart® a strong choice for noisy environments and the device also meets rigorous military standards for shock and vibration testing. The Rescue Ready® technology self-checks the primary components daily, ensuring that your device is fully operational and rescue-ready.

Physio-Control

Founded in 1955 by Dr. Karl William Edmark, Physio-Control manufactures “emergency response tools of the highest quality to help clinicians and emergency responders, anywhere in the world, through the toughest kind of emergencies.”

Designed for heavy use, the LIFEPAK 1000 is rugged and durable. The device features built-in flexibility which allows users to program the device to change protocols as standards of care evolve.  It’s a great option for EMS professionals.

The LIFEPAK CR Plus is easy-to-use and is trusted by emergency medical professionals worldwide. The fully automatic LIFEPAK CR Plus offers an easy two-step operation, is water-resistant, and is very lightweight. The device automatically adjusts voltage based on individual needs, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic public areas.

Physio-Control also offers the LIFEPAK Express for budget-minded organizations. The device includes a quick-use instruction card and can deliver up to 360 joules of defibrillation energy, as needed.

HeartSine

The HeartSine Samaritan line of AEDs is designed for use in public areas. Offering the highest levels of dust and water protection in the industry. It is small, extremely compact, light and portable. In fact, it’s the lightest family of AEDs on the market. To simplify maintenance, HeartSine AEDs feature the innovative Pad-Pak™, which houses both the battery and electrodes with one, easy-to-track expiration date.

The HeartSine 450 is one of the few AEDs available to offer live feedback during CPR.

Philips

Philips, a company known for its wide-ranging medical technologies and innovative healthcare solutions, offers the HeartStart family of defibrillators. The Philips HeartStart FR3 AED is the lightest professional device available.

The HeartStart FRx AED is an excellent option for schools, pools, fitness centers, and outdoor venues. The device features fast shocking times and is durable and water-resistant. To transform the device from an adult-only AED to a pediatric AED, simply insert the infant/child key. One set of pads works for adults, children, and infants.

The company’s HeartStart Onsite AED is a solid, cost-effective option for individuals who are at a higher risk of SCA. In fact, it’s the only AED on the market that’s available for personal or home use without a physician’s prescription. Weighing in at just 3.3 lbs, it’s easy to transport. To activate voice instructions, simply open the device. The step-by-step instructions are clear and adaptable, making it easier for untrained bystanders to respond to an emergency situation.

Defibtech

Founded in 1999 by Philadelphia cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Glenn W. Laub and his longtime engineer friend, Gintaras Vaisnys, Defibtech’s vision was to create one of the world’s best AEDs by offering the highest levels of quality and reliability at an accessible price point.

The large, high-resolution, full-color, interactive display screen makes the Lifeline VIEW an excellent option for untrained rescuers or within organizations serving deaf or hard-of-hearing populations. It works well in all lighting situations and adapts for child or adult use.

The Defibtech Lifeline is a fully-automatic AED that’s easy to activate and features loud and clear voice prompts. Its long battery life makes it the perfect option for organizations looking to keep maintenance to a minimum.

Cardio Partners Offers AED Program Consulting Services

We know there’s a lot to consider when purchasing an AED for your organization or place of business. At Cardio Partners, we’re happy to help you select the manufacturer and model of AED that’s best for you. We specialize in full-customizable solutions for AED sales, compliance management, CPR training, and maintenance services. For more information about purchasing a new or recertified AED or to schedule AED training or maintenance, contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest – Do you know how to help?

Jeff Rossen using an AED Trainer on the Today Show.
Jeff Rossen using an AED Trainer on the Today Show.

Thank you to Jeff Rossen on the Today show for featuring Automated External Defibrillators and CPR and bringing public awareness to the importance of these life-saving devices (video featured here). At AED.com, part of our mission is to educate the public on recognizing Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the awareness of AEDs, performing bystander CPR before the paramedics arrive and using the defibrillator to shock the victim when needed. Continue reading Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest – Do you know how to help?