In the modern world, creating a safe and inclusive workspace goes beyond ergonomic furniture and comfortable lighting. One crucial aspect often overlooked is emergency preparedness. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening emergency that can strike anyone, anywhere, including the workplace. To ensure the safety and well-being of your employees and customers, setting up an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program and comprehensive training can be the difference between life and death.
Understanding the Importance of AEDs in the Workplace
An AED is a portable device that can analyze a person’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat. When integrated into an organized AED program, these devices can significantly increase the chances of survival for someone experiencing cardiac arrest. Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects more than 365,000 people a year. Here’s how you can establish an effective AED program and training in your organization:
- Assess Your Organization’s Needs
Begin by evaluating the size of your workforce, the layout of your workplace, and the potential risk factors. High-stress environments, sedentary jobs, and older employees might elevate the risk of cardiac incidents, although Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike even the healthiest of employees. Based on your assessment, determine the number of AEDs required and their optimal placement. A centralized and easily accessible location is key.
- Select the Right AEDs
The best AED is the closest AED, but there are various features and benefits to consider such as ease of use, voice prompts, visual guides, and pediatric options. Also ensure that the AED you choose has been approved by the FDA.
- Train Your Team
Even the most advanced AED is only as effective as the people who use it. Provide comprehensive training to a group of employees who will act as first responders. Seek out certified trainers who can educate your team about recognizing cardiac arrest, performing CPR, and using the AED. Regular refresher courses are vital to keep skills sharp and knowledge up to date.
- Create an Emergency Response Plan
Incorporate AED usage into your organization’s broader emergency response plan. Clearly outline the steps to take in the event of a cardiac emergency. Designate roles and responsibilities, and establish communication protocols to ensure a swift and coordinated response. Regularly practice drills to ensure that everyone is familiar with their roles during high-stress situations.
- Raise Awareness
Educate all employees about the presence and importance of AEDs in your workplace. Host seminars, workshops, or information sessions to raise awareness about SCA and the lifesaving potential of AEDs. Encourage a Culture of First Responders™ where employees understand that AEDs are tools for everyone’s benefit.
- Maintenance and Regular Checks
AEDs require periodic maintenance to guarantee their functionality. Create a schedule for regular checks of batteries, electrode pads, and overall device condition. Designate someone to oversee maintenance tasks, ensuring that the AEDs are always ready for use. For multiple AEDs, streamline this task with a best-practice combination of program management software and remote monitoring hardware.
Prioritizing the safety and well-being of your employees and customers is a hallmark of responsible and caring leadership. By establishing an AED program and comprehensive training at your workplace, you equip your team with the skills and tools needed to save lives. This proactive approach not only safeguards your employees but also fosters a Culture of First Responders™ and unity within your organization. Remember, a little investment in training and equipment today can yield immeasurable returns in the future.
RescueStat helps organizations like yours to set up and maintain successful AED programs. We can assist with each of these steps listed above to ensure your AED program is top-notch. Our partner companies experience a 70% survival rate, while the national average remains at 10%. Talk to a member of our team to learn more.