A shock to the System
Emergencies arise, AEDs are there to save lives.
stadiums, churches, swimming pools – you name it, and an automated external
defibrillator (AED) is probably there.
life-saving, portable devices, available for lay responders since the late
1990s, use electrical stimulation to restore normal heart rhythms to people
suffering from cardiac arrest, a condition that can be fatal if not treated
disease still the number one killer of both men and women in the
, AEDs are starting to show up in
some pretty unlikely places. Some people
are even getting them for their homes.
cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age or health
status. Providing quick defibrillation
with an AED increases a person’s chance of survival.
are about the size of a laptop computer, use voice prompts to instruct users on
what to do in a potentially life-threatening situation. After the unit is turned on, the user is told
to put two electrodes that are provided with the AED onto the victim’s
chest. The device then monitors the
victim’s heart rhythm. If a shock is
needed, the AED will charge itself and tell the user to move away from the
victim and to press the shock button.
not big dangers for the AED operator, just as long as he or she is clear of the
patient when a shock is delivered.
Early defibrillation is one of four
links in what is called the Chain of Survival, according to the American Heart
Association. In order, they are:
- Early access – Recognize an emergency and call 9ll.
- Early CPR – Start CPR directly after cardiac arrest occurs.
- Early defibrillation – Defibrillate the victim as soon as possible
with an AED. They are most
effective if used within three to five minutes.
- Early advanced care – Trained health care professionals arrive to
provide advanced care.
When CPR is
provided and an AED is in place to deliver a shock within three minutes of
collapse, survival rates from ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest may be as
high as 74 percent, according to the American Heart Association. Only around 5 percent of sudden cardiac
arrest victims survive in places where no AED programs exist.
shown that AEDs are able to detect heart rhythms that
need to be defibrillated 90 percent of the time, according to the American
Heart Association. AEDs are also 95
percent effective in determining when a shock is not needed.
’s has an AED.
It is located in the
entrance above the ushers’ desk.