Incorporating automated external defibrillators, also known as AEDs, as part of an overall safety and security plan for the modern business can provide valuable assistance to employees and customers in the event of a cardiac emergency. They are designed to be easy to use, even for those with no real experience in the health and safety field. A simple training session is generally all that is required to provide adequate information on how to use it properly.
Why AEDs Are Important
For patients suffering from cardiac arrest, the first few minutes are critical. These devices can literally make the difference between life and death. Here are some facts to keep in mind.
- Patients who receive prompt medical attention during the first minute of a sudden cardiac arrest are far more likely to survive these events than those who receive treatment later.
- After 3 minutes without medical attention, the patient’s chances of survival fall by over 20 percent. Each minute after that reduces survival chances by 10 additional percentage points.
- Waiting for the ambulance to arrive can cost valuable minutes; on average, ambulance services take between 9 and 12 minutes to arrive on the scene.
- Brain damage can begin as soon as 3 minutes after the onset of a sudden cardiac arrest event.
- Survival rates for patients who receive CPR and defibrillation within three minutes of the onset of sudden cardiac arrest are typically better than 50 percent; this falls to 5 percent or less if these resuscitative efforts do not start until after 12 minutes have elapsed.
By maintaining an AED in good working order as part of the medical emergency equipment available at the worksite or commercial establishment, company owners can ensure a greater degree of safety for employees and for customers in the working environment. These automated devices will not work on individuals who are not currently experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Advanced monitors and safety devices ensure that patients receive defibrillation only if they are in need of it. To date, there have been no cases in which an individual or company was held liable for the use of an AED in an attempt to revive someone; however, companies have been held liable for failing to provide these lifesaving devices.