What Are AED’s
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) provide precise therapy for sudden cardiac arrest by delivering an electrical waveform, or more simply, a shock to the heart. This treatment must be delivered within a 7 to 10 minute window of opportunity to provide a meaningful chance of survival. The U.S. survival rate from SCA is dismal… less than 5 percent! The reason; victims cannot be defibrillated in time. AEDs are designed specifically for the first responder at an emergency… typically a layperson. The U.S. survival rate is expected to increase dramatically with the expanded awareness and placement of AEDs.
Early Defibrillation is the Key Link to Survival!
You can now save the life of an SCA victim in your workplace, community, or home by following the four simple steps of the American Heart Association’s Chain of Survival.
First Link: EARLY ACCESS to medical care by calling 911.
Second Link : EARLY CPR to help circulated oxygen to the victim’s heart and brain.
Third Link : EARLY DEFIBRILLATION shocks to restore normal heart rhythm.
Fourth Link : EARLY ADVANCED CARE provided by paramedics.
It takes four strong links to make the Chain of Survival. A break in any of these links can severely limit the victim’s chances. The most crucial step in restoring a victim of SCA is early defibrillation. With an automated external defibrillator, virtually anyone can perform the first three links with perfect confidence!
Did You Know…
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) causes more deaths per year in the United States than lung cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS combined… over 225,000.
It is estimated that as many as 60,000 deaths could be prevented each year through the widespread deployment of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). For each minute that ventricular fibrillation persists (SCA is typically caused by this), the likelihood of successful resuscitation decreases by approximately 10 percent. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, the chances of survival are practically nonexistent. Early defibrillation is the key link to survival.
Most victims of SCA are middle-aged or elderly with no previous history of heart problems. Though the average victim is about 65 years old, some victims are in their 30s or 40s. SCA, by nature, is completely unpredictable. It can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The American Heart Association recently released new procedures for CPR. New guidelines include to “administer electric shock by defibrillator within 5 minutes for an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victim, and within 3 minutes for an in-hospital victim.”
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine proves a reassuring message: Persons with minimal training can successfully use simple, portable defibrillation devices (AEDs) in public places to save lives that might otherwise be lost to sudden cardiac arrest. Cities who have placed AEDs in prominent, accessible, and attainable locations resulted in an average SCA survival rate of about 53 percent. If defibrillated within 3 minutes, survival rates increase to an amazing 74 percent!
* The AHA encourages the use of AED’s, but does not recommend or endorse a specific device. All AED models have similar features, but the slight differences allow them to meet a variety of needs. The AHA encourages potential buyers to consider all models and make a selection based on the buyer’s particular needs.
The AHA includes AED Training in all of it CPR courses.
Download the AED Implementation Guide