As a responsible member of your community, you have initiated, or plan to initiate, an AED program to address the need to respond to sudden cardiac arrests (SCAs) in your facility. However, just having an AED sitting in a closet somewhere is not enough. You and your team must ensure that your equipment is maintained and that your staff understands how to use it.
A comprehensive AED program has many facets that need to be considered, including technology, maintenance, training, and compliance with state laws. Let’s review what a comprehensive AED program includes.
What Does a Comprehensive AED Program Look Like?
Adhering to legal requirements in your state or locality
To remain compliant, it’s essential that your workplace adheres to all state or local laws as they pertain to AED maintenance and training. All 50 states have defibrillator use laws or adopted regulations. Plus, many states have provisions around the following:
- Requiring or encouraging training on AED usage
- Requiring that maintenance and testing meet manufacturers’ standards
- Creating a registry of defibrillator locations
- Establishing a “Good Samaritan” exemption from liability
- Authorizing state agencies to determine more detailed requirements for training and registration
According to OSHA, AEDs should be conveniently installed to ensure a response within three to five minutes. Here are some suggested areas for proper placement:
- Areas where many people work closely together, such as assembly lines and office buildings
- Areas where electric-powered devices are used
- Outdoor worksites where lightning may occur
- Health units where workers may seek treatment for medical symptoms
- Company fitness centers and cafeterias
- Remote sites, such as off-shore drilling rigs, construction projects, marine vessels, power transmission lines, and energy pipelines
Ongoing AED inspection not only helps ensure your facility can respond swiftly to emergency situations, but also that your equipment will function properly when needed. In fact, most state laws require that AED equipment is maintained according to manufacturer specifications. It’s important to check that your equipment is routinely examined by qualified professionals. Routine maintenance helps keep repair costs down by proactively addressing any potential malfunctions and minimizing any potential liability.
Counseling of personnel following an AED event
Even if your facility follows proper AED upkeep and has a functioning device, the reality is that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) emergencies can have a low success rate so it’s important to account for any post-event treatment for those involved, including counseling following an SCA event.
The American Heart Association now recommends cardiac arrest survivors and caregivers receive survivorship plans that address treatment, surveillance, and rehabilitation following an SCA, including formal support for physical, cognitive, and psychosocial needs. The AHA suggests taking a structured approach to assessing signs of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and fatigue for both cardiac arrest survivors and caregivers.
Take the stress out of managing a comprehensive, compliant program.
While managing a comprehensive program may seem overwhelming, an AED management program like Rescue Ready® Services can help alleviate the stress, you can have peace of mind that your equipment and responders will be ready if and when a medical emergency occurs.
PlusTrac™ AED Program Management software not only helps you track and manage accessory expiration dates and training certifications, but it will send automatic alerts to let you know if there is an issue with your AED, updates about FDA and manufacturer recalls, and important email reminders and reports. Our national network of PlusCare™ certified technicians can help you troubleshoot device issues, replace expired pads and batteries, and more. Add on, PlusLearning™ training options to ensure your staff is trained and ready to respond to medical emergencies when needed.
A comprehensive AED management can improve safety in your workplace. Request more information on starting your free PlusTrac™ AED management trial.