Most people believe that the best thing you can do is call 911 and wait for medical professionals to arrive. Unfortunately, victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) have a less than 10% chance of survival on average in the United States.
The first step in any emergency situation is always to call 911, but to give your co-worker, friend, or loved one the best chance of survival—you should immediately begin CPR and use an AED.
As each minute passes, the SCA victim is 10% less likely to survive without CPR or defibrillation with an AED. Average EMS response time in many metro areas is 7-12 minutes, with rural areas taking much longer. Simply put, waiting for EMS to arrive can be detrimental to the victim.
The heart’s dangerous rhythm during cardiac arrest can only be reversed with defibrillation. Using an AED, a lifesaving tool designed for ANYONE to operate, provides defibrillation therapy. AEDs will analyze the patient and ONLY provide a shock if the person needs one. You CANNOT accidentally shock a person using an AED.
Already have AEDs available in your organization or workplace?
- Remember, don’t press your luck by ignoring the AED. Implement an AED Management Program so your team is always rescue ready!
- Assign someone to be in charge of maintaining your AED(s)
- Train designated responders at your facility who can confidently respond with highly-effective CPR and quick use of the AED
- Place AEDs in accessible locations with the ability to retrieve an AED and return to patient within 90 seconds
- Make sure the battery and electrode pads are checked regularly (Battery failure is the #1 cause of AEDs not working properly during a rescue)
- Replace expired pads or dead batteries promptly