Around the United States, several states require Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in businesses like schools, gyms and shopping malls. As the awareness around Sudden Cardiac Arrest grows, more and more states are (thankfully!) passing laws requiring AEDs.
Ok, so I bought my AED from an online discount store, and I put it behind the front desk and now I’m compliant with the law and I’ll save some lives, right?
The AED is just the first step. You need to have an emergency plan surrounding your AEDs, you need a team trained and empowered to use the AED, and your AED needs to be maintained and ready to shock. (Creating a Culture of First Responders Empowered by Life-Saving Technology)
According to the Annals of Emergency Medicine, 1,150 cardiac deaths over 15 years occurred because of the failure of AEDs. The American Heart Association reports that 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), or because their training has lapsed. These are just a few examples of how just having an AED is not enough.
To have a comprehensive life-saving program, we recommend four facets of readiness:
- Equipment Ready
- Organization Ready
- People Ready
- Culture Ready
Equipment Ready: Your AED must be maintained and ready to shock. So many AEDs are left in the box, thrown behind a desk and forgotten about and when it comes time to use them, they are not ready to shock.
Organization Ready: Your organization must have a plan in place to be sure your AEDs are visible and easily accessible. An AED should be able to be accessed in 3 minutes or less. Also, there may be other requirements by law such as Medical Oversight and EMS Registration.
People Ready: You must have a team trained and empowered to use the AED. Part of the reason why survival rates for Sudden Cardiac Arrest are so low are because people are too afraid to act. Some states also require CPR and AED training to be logged.
Culture Ready: Your organization must support creating a Culture of First Responders™. Teaching others about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and letting them know that your life-saving programs exists will start to change the status quo around SCA survival.
An AED should be as commonplace as a fire extinguisher or a first aid kit, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. RescueStat offers comprehensive products and services surrounding each of these facets of readiness. We help organizations build AED programs that are simple and easy to navigate.
Download our free readiness checklist to learn more about what your organization should do to be prepared for Sudden Cardiac Arrest.