Today, we want to shed light on a vital topic that holds immense importance in the realm of first aid and emergency response: Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). You probably remember most the movies, with someone lying on the ground and others standing over them shouting "Clear!" before shocking them back to life.
Every year around 30,000 Australians suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest outside a hospital. Every minute that passes, the chance of survival without an AED is reduced by 10%.
In this blog post, we will explore the significance of AEDs as life-saving devices and provide you with comprehensive information that can help you understand their importance and make informed decisions. So, let's dive in!
Understanding Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs)
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable medical device used to diagnose and treat life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). AEDs are designed to provide electric shocks to the heart in order to restore its normal rhythm.
Importance of Early Defibrillation
Time is of the essence during a cardiac arrest emergency. Studies have consistently shown that early defibrillation, within the first few minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurring, greatly increases the chances of survival. For every minute that passes without defibrillation, the survival rate decreases by approximately 7-10%. Therefore, having an AED readily available can be crucial in saving a life.
Ease of Use and Accessibility
AEDs are designed to be user-friendly, enabling anyone, even those without medical training, to use them effectively. They provide clear audio and visual instructions that guide the rescuer through the entire defibrillation process. You don't need training to handle an AED and help save lives!
Additionally, AEDs are increasingly being installed in public spaces such as schools, airports, shopping centers, and sports arenas, ensuring their accessibility in case of an emergency.
How AEDs Work
When an AED is applied to a person experiencing cardiac arrest, it analyzes the heart's rhythm and determines whether an electric shock is required. If necessary, the AED will instruct the rescuer to deliver a shock by pressing a button. The shock interrupts the chaotic electrical activity in the heart, allowing it to resume its normal rhythm. The promptness of this intervention is critical, as it can significantly increase the chances of a successful resuscitation. The person might not suddenly sit up holding their chest, like in the movies, but you'll stabilise their heart rhythm and keep someone alive until they can get to a medical facility.
Here are the steps to use an AED to assist someone suffering from a cardiac arrest :
1. Check if the person is breathing and has a pulse. If the person is not breathing and you can’t find a pulse start CPR
2. Send someone to call for an ambulance. If you’re alone, call 000 first to make sure help is on the way.
3. Turn on the defibrillator. It gives you step-by-step voice instructions. Easy-to-understand visual and voice prompts will guide you through the entire resuscitation process, including CPR ― a key link in the chain of survival.
4. Apply the electrode pads where it indicates (usually one goes under the heart and the other underneath the right shoulder)
5. Deliver the shock. Listen to the prompts (a semi-automatic defibrillator will require you to press a button to deliver a shock. A fully automatic defibrillator will administer the shock on its own). The machine will tell the user to stand back and push a button to deliver the shock.
6. Begin CPR after the shock is delivered if CPR is still needed. The AED will also guide users through CPR. The process can be repeated as needed until emergency crews take over.
Where do you buy an AED? Well that's easy, you can buy one from us.
Contact us if you are unsure which you need or if you need any more information!