Ninety percent of victims who receive a shock from an automatic external defibrillator in the first minute of cardiac arrest live, yet 51% of workplace employees don't even know where their business AED is located. In fact, only 35% of employers even offer AED training for the workplace, yet the majority of workers indicate they would feel safer with proper AED program management. This lack of understanding has been shown to greatly affect AED use, bystander response, and overall health outcomes including mortality.
Increasing AED Use and Education
So how can this misunderstanding be addressed, and what can be done to close this education gap and create a safer workplace for both employees and visitors? It's important to understand how modern AEDs work. Employers should communicate that modern devices are designed to help the users and that there is no need to fear using. Educate staff on these frequently asked questions as part of your AED program management.
- What If A Shock Causes A Cardiac Victim Harm?
Without treatment their chances of survival are slim to nothing, providing a shock is better than the alternative. Additionally, modern AEDs have built-in safeguards. The machine will seek two rhythms that indicate distress and will not shock a patient without these indicators present.
- Do You Use An AED When The Heart Stops?
Technically, an AED is designed to treat a heart that is fibrillating, which is similar to having a muscle spasm, by shocking the muscle which allows it to reset to a normal rhythm. That is why you need an AED (Automatic External DE-Fibrillator). The idea is not to wait until the heart stops, but to deliver that much needed shock before that happens. While the goal is to reset the heart, non-medical personnel are not expected to make the assessment before treatment. AED use is indicated if a person collapses and is unresponsive and not breathing. A shock from an AED is typically only delivered in about 1/2 of the victims in this condition but with high-quality CPR the heart may need a shock when the condition of the heart changes. Modern AEDs will sense whether this also involves a dangerous heart rhythm, and only shock the patient if needed.
- Can An AED Be Used On An Infant?
A standard, adult AED should not be used on an infant. Standard AEDs are designed for children age 8 and over. Children age 1-8 can be treated with an AED using pediatric pads, and for those under the age of one, a manual defibrillator by a medical professional is indicated.
- Can An AED Be Used On Someone With A Pacemaker?
A patient with a pacemaker can be externally defibrillated for emergency care, but the pacemaker should then be reviewed by medical and equipment professionals.
- Can You Use An AED On A Pregnant Woman?
It is safe to use an AED on a pregnant woman. If the mother's life is in danger, this also endangers the life of the baby.
- Do Bras Effect The Ability To Defibrillate?
Effective defibrillation requires direct contact between the electrodes and the skin. Any clothing that restricts this ability must be moved out of the way. Electricity can also be affected by metal in its path, so metal objects such as piercings and underwires may need to be avoided, but there is no specific requirement to remove a bra before defibrillation.
An AED management program can help answer these questions and more, you can ensure a proper protocol and response plan for any type of victim. You'll have a partner in your safety efforts, and not have to figure these questions out on your own. PlusTrac has your back with information to help you. Subscribe to our blog for continued updates on AED education and how AED program management can help with training. Or if you're ready to take the next step schedule a demo today.