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Heart Saving Solutions for Public Access


Why do we need AEDs? Can't we just call 911?

There is a very good chance emergency medical services (EMS) cannot respond fast enough to save someone in cardiac arrest, particularly in congested urban areas, high-rise buildings, in remote rural areas, or large facilities. In fact, the national average response time is 10-12 minutes, so even the best EMS responders could have difficulty arriving in time. Besides traffic, consider the time needed to make it through building security or in a crowded shopping mall with multiple escalators and all the way to a victim, for example.

Without early defibrillation, only 5 out of 100 SCA victims will survive. AEDs offer a practical way to save more lives because they are designed for use by nearly anyone. Widespread deployment of AEDs in public places gives SCA victims the best chance of survival.

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Who Can Operate an AED?

Unlike manual defibrillators used in hospitals and by paramedics, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easy to operate. The new generation of AEDs analyzes the victim's condition and, if warranted, delivers an electric shock to the heart to reverse SCA. Nearly anyone with proper training can use these devices.

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Who can help my organization implement an AED program? has extensive experience teaming up fire and law enforcement departments with community leaders to implement successful Public Access Defibrillation programs, with the goal of saving lives. We can assist you with purchasing your devices, arranging training, determining the optimal number and placement of your AEDs, providing referrals for medical direction, and helping to develop an ongoing quality assurance program.

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Are AEDs easy to use?

Extremely. Automated external defibrillators are designed for use by virtually anyone with minimal training.

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What additional training is required?

In many cases, a simple course including CPR and AED training is all that is required. For example, the American Heart Association offers the Heartsaver™ AED course, which can be completed in less than four hours. Training requirements vary from state to state. Contact for more information on your state's unique training requirements.

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What liability do we incur by deploying AEDs in our community?

The laws surrounding AED usage vary from state to state. All but one state in the U.S. have passed Good Samaritan laws with language about AEDs. Additionally, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act [ pdf 92.0KB ], which was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 2000, provides AED users and acquirers with protection from liability. This and similar legislation underway is helping to make AEDs the standard of care for SCA, and as such, organizations are increasingly at greater liability for failing to have these life-saving devices on-site.

Note: To view the above PDF document, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download the free Reader from Adobe's web site.

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What is the cost to purchase and maintain an AED?

An AED costs about the same as a well-equipped laptop computer.

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How do we implement an AED program?

There are several factors to consider when implementing an AED program, such as the selection of an AED, lay-rescuer training, physician oversight, determining optimal placement and developing ongoing quality assurance programs. can assist you with all facets of a comprehensive PAD program.

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Where would we place our AEDs?

Some key areas to place AEDs in your community would be:
Community Centers
Train or bus stations
Shopping malls
Places of worship
Parks, golf courses, and recreational areas
Office or government buildings
Concert halls and theatres
Sports stadiums and arenas
Wherever your AEDs are placed, they should be visible and easily accessible.

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