If you aren’t familiar with an AED, it is a computerized medical device. According to the American Heart Association, an AED can check a person’s heart rhythm. It can recognize a rhythm that requires a shock, and it can tell the rescuer when a shock is needed.
How does it do that? The AED uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to tell the rescuer the steps to take. An AEDs is accurate and easy to use. With a few hours of training, anyone can learn to operate an AED safely. There are many different brands of AEDs, but the same basic steps apply to all of them.
During preplanning and monthly staff meetings, the entire staff received CPR and AED training from staff member Cynthia Crowell, who is an American Heart Association Certified BLS Heartsaver Instructor. “Immediate CPR and early AED use nearly doubles survival rates in victims of cardiac arrest,” said Crowell, who is passionate about seeing everyone properly trained for emergencies.
Additionally, Marsha Robbins, director of program support, and Gina Fortson, secondary office manager, have both received First Aid Certification. And, as any Cornerstone student can tell you, there are always plenty of assistants and staff members available to kiss a boo-boo.
In February of this year, a Loganville Christian student went into cardiac arrest at a volleyball game. Because the school staff had AED and CPR training, the student survived. You can watch the story here.
More from the American Heart Association
Automatic External Defibrillators in the community allow us to get that shock into a patient quickly. So people, such as bystander or lay individuals, can give life-saving treatment and get that heart started again even before the emergency medical personnel can arrive.
Survival is directly linked to the time interval between the SCA and the first AED shock delivered to the victim. Statistics confirm that when a shock is delivered within one minute, survival rates can increase seventeenfold from 5%--by relying on EMS only to respond--to levels as high as 86% in some cases.
Time is the most important element in saving an SCA victim. Even the best EMS systems have difficulty arriving "in time." They average nine minutes which is often "too late." Because AEDs can be used by almost anyone, widespread deployment in public places, including; schools, businesses, airports and sporting events, gives SCA victims the best chance of survival.
Chain of Survival
- Early 911 Access
- Early CPR -- Keep the victim's blood flowing
- Early Defibrillation with an AED - once the blood is flowing, we want to defibrillate the patient or to shock that heart back into a rhythm that will sustain life. This supports the notion that these AEDs are readily available in our communities.
- Early Advanced Life Support --As soon as the emergency medical personnel can arrive, they can start an IV, give medications, protect the airway, and get that victim to a hospital where more definitive care can be given.
Cornerstone staff is also required to complete Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan and be trained in our Crisis Action Plan each year.
Special thanks to the American Heart Association for their help with the information in the post.