It has been 2 years since I retired from the fire department and it was an amazing journey.  Since I have retired, I have not had many reasons to respond to a medical emergency.  This past June of 2019 was one that I won’t forget…

I attended an event with about 50 people, and as the crowd started to disperse, in the corner of the room came a snorting, choking sound. I turned to see an elderly gentleman leaning back in a chair gasping for air.  Another bystander in scrubs and myself approached the gentleman and began to assess and assist.  We quickly lowered him to the ground and checked for breathing and pulse.  With the scene being safe, we checked responsiveness, initiated someone to call 911 and get an AED… and this is why I am writing this blog.

I was the one who told another bystander to call 911 and in the same breath started to say, “and someone get and AED!”  However, I stopped myself short as I knew the building did not have an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).  I felt so helpless and angry at the same time as I knew how important an AED would play in this scenario.  The reason for my angry…  I had personally spoken to management about investing in an AED. 

What I am about to say may shock many people, but CPR primarily does not work by itself.  That is why the Chain of Survival is mentioned in training… call 911, provide compressions, use of an AED, arrival of EMS, and finally hospital care.  It all works together!  In a previous post, I mentioned the incident in Minnesota where bystanders did 96 minutes of CPR and it wasn’t until EMS arrived and provided Advanced Cardiac Life Support that the person was revived and lived!

Let me quickly dive into 5 reasons why your company should own an AED…

About 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur at work.  

Of those that experience sudden cardiac arrest,  9 out of 10 people will die while waiting for emergency medical personnel.  In our local jurisdiction just outside of Washington DC, our normal response time is 5-7 minutes, which is a lifetime for both the rescuer and patient.

Are you RESCUE Ready?

  • Is everyone trained and up to date with their certification?
  • Do you have an AED at your business location?
  • Is your AED being managed and checked on a consistent basis?
  • Does your company have a First Aid kit?
  • Does your First Aid kit include a STOP the BLEED Kit?

AEDs are designed for anyone to use. 

There are many different AEDs that are available and ready to use for non-medical bystanders

 AEDs are designed to primarily shock ventricular fibrillation.  

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) can be proceeded by ventricular tachycardia (VT), and VT can last less than 30 seconds

That is a very small window of opportunity where an AED can come into play and getting one onto a patient as soon as possible is vital.  AEDs are lightweight, portable, compact, battery operated, safe, and easy to use.

 

 CPR and AED training with proper placement of and AED along with and AED Management system can mean the difference between life and death.

Administering compressions provides the two most important reasons why we are seeing higher savior rates.  First, as you compress on the chest you are circulating oxygenated blood through the body.  Second, every time you push on the chest, you are pushing air out of the mouth and every time you recoil from that compression, air is brought back into the lungs.  You are providing blood circulation and breathing for that patient.

CPR has changed over the years and the focus on compressions play an integral part in preparation for using an AED.  Check your workplace and locate your AED! 

Oh, I almost forgot… our patient survived!

Are you RESCUE Ready?

  • Is everyone trained and up to date with their certification?
  • Do you have an AED at your business location?
  • Is your AED being managed and checked on a consistent basis?
  • Does your company have a First Aid kit?
  • Does your First Aid kit include a STOP the BLEED Kit?

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