Let’s look at the benefits of having an AED on hand. When facing a medical emergency, especially if we’re talking SCA, the first step is giving CPR. Coupled with this technique is the use of AED devices.
An automated external defibrillator is used to revive and maintain the cardiac arrest victim’s heart rhythm until emergency personnel arrive at the scene. Moreover, AEDs can help you analyze the heart attack victim’s heart rhythm and detect whether it’s shockable or non-shockable.
The advantages to using an AED are several, which is why having this device on hand can help save lives at the workplace, at home, or in public places. In this article, we’ll elaborate on the crucial benefits of having an AED and how the states regulate its availability. Moreover, we’ll present some interesting facts and statistics about AEDs.
The Benefits of Having an AED on Hand: A Life-Saving Device
As we all know, AED stands for automated external defibrillator – an electrical device with two main functions: analyzing the heart’s rhythm and administering electrical shocks. AEDs are life-saving devices that can help you respond to sudden cardiac arrest emergencies.
The first and foremost benefit of having an available AED is increasing the survival rate and decreasing the chances of impaired brain functions after the person survives the heart attack. Furthermore, if AED is publicly-available, it will improve the outcome of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims.
Studies have shown that available AEDs are crucial for increasing the survival rates of cardiac arrest victims in public places, schools, medical facilities, homes, after car accidents, etc. Additional research has also shown that bystanders administering AED analysis and electrical shocks can even double the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims.
There are different types of these devices, and although they serve the same purpose, not all of them work the same. For example, there’s a monophasic and biphasic waveform AED. In recent years, the biphasic waveform AEDs have replaced monophasic ones because their availability and mechanics are related to higher chances of survival.
The biphasic waveform AEDs are available at hand at both public places and medical centers. This fact brings us to the further distinction of AEDs between public access AEDs and professional use AEDs.
Benefits of Having Public Access to an AED
The Benefits of Having an AED on Hand is important in public. Public access AEDs are automated external defibrillators that are publicly available. They’re usually installed and ready for usage in public schools, government buildings, airports, bus stations, stadiums, training centers, etc.
This type of AEDs and its accessories must be FDA-approved. Moreover, the government and medical officials always stress the benefits of having them, such as the following:
- Increased survival rates;
- Decreased chances of impaired brain functioning;
- Saving youth and athlete’s lives;
- Saving lives of coworkers and employees;
- Preventing fatal consequences of heart attacks on airplanes, etc.
Public Access AEDs in Government Buildings
Numerous federal acts make installing AEDs in public places mandatory. For example, according to the 42 U.S. Code § 238q, all government buildings and facilities must have an AED available anytime.
The benefit of having public access AEDs in government buildings is quicker response and treatment of cardiac arrest victims. Furthermore, these public access AEDs can revive and maintain the victim’s heart rhythm until the emergency response services arrive.
Public Access AEDs in Schools
Some states oblige public schools to have an AED available on the premises. Government officials and experts have acknowledged the benefits of the automated external defibrillator and passed specific legislation on the AED requirements.
Following are some examples of state laws obliging schools to provide uninterrupted access to automated external defibrillators:
- Arkansas: From May 2011, the state made it mandatory to have an AED at school campuses and trained personnel for administering an AED treatment. The bill also leaves the opportunity open for grants and fundraising activities to ensure the availability of AEDs at the state’s public schools.
- California: California is another state that made public access AEDs obligatory for public and charter schools. However, this bill is intended for schools that have inter-school athletic and sports programs.
- Florida: Since 1999, Florida has passed different bills and legislation to make AEDs mandatory in public schools. Today, all the state’s public schools must train certain employees to handle the AED and have an operational device at their premises.
These bills and laws suggest that there has been an increased number of publicly accessible automated external defibrillators. The main benefit that comes out of these legal frames is the increased availability of AEDs, increasing the chance for quick response in cases of cardiac arrests.
This especially goes for schools hosting athletic and sports programs. The emphasis on these schools is bigger as there have been many cases of sudden cardiac arrest among athletes and sports enthusiasts.
Public Access AEDs in Airports and Airplanes
Other frequent cases of cardiac arrest emergencies happen at airports and during flights. Airport and airplane cardiac arrest is common because of multiple reasons. For instance, persons with a history of cardiovascular diseases and malfunctions can experience cardiac arrest due to the large volume of movements and changes in the air pressure.
Another reason for cardiac arrests happening at airports is the adverse effects related to the psychological environment and alterations during flights. That’s why airports are known to be the public places where heart attacks frequently happen and lead to devastating effects.
Therefore, government agencies and officials made AEDs compulsory through a set of laws and bills to ensure the safety of all passengers. In addition, flight attendants and other airport personnel are usually required to master the CPR technique. The proper use of AEDs and the efficient performance of CPR can save the lives of many traveling enthusiasts who experience sudden cardiac arrest.
The Benefits of Having AEDs For Professional Use
Professional use AEDs offer even more benefits than the public access AEDs because they are designed to be used by professionals, meaning they are more efficient but also more complex. An example of professional use of AED is an automated external defibrillator used by emergency response services, healthcare providers, EMTs, or paramedics.
Relevant institutions and training centers ensure that this personnel acquires the training and skills essential for using AEDs. Following are some examples of the benefits of having an AED on hand for different professions and medical facilities:
- Improving survival odds;
- Save treatment time;
- An easy-to-use device that’s applicable for different age groups and patients with various disease histories;
- It can be used by any professional with minimal defibrillation knowledge;
- Restoring normal heart rhythm;
- Chance to calculate the severity of the situation and if defibrillation is needed.
CPR & AED: The Combined Benefits
The benefits of having an AED on hand are close to null if you can’t properly perform the CPR procedure. Namely, you can guarantee most of the benefits of the available and accessible AEDs if you also have knowledge and experience in performing CPR.
There are numerous reasons for this. Automated external defibrillation is usually combined with CPR to guarantee that you restore the normal heart rhythm and blood flow. Consequently, even if you don’t have an AED available, you should immediately start giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In case an AED is available, you can start by giving shocks first, then proceed with CPR.
All the studies and researches outline the need for quick, fast, and hard chest compressions after an electrical shock. Using an AED first can be extra helpful as the automated external defibrillator can signal if the cardiac arrest victim has a non-shockable heart rhythm.
In these emergency cases, you mustn’t administer shocks to the patient. On the contrary, you should proceed to give high-quality CPR till the medical services arrive.
Who Can Benefit From The Increased Availability of AEDs?
Many individuals, organizations, and institutions can benefit from the regular availability of AEDs. Following are some of the key benefits for the whole community of having this life-saving device at hand:
- Reduction of fatal cardiac arrest cases on a national level;
- The reduction of costs and spending of engaging the emergency services in preventing and treating cardiac arrest victims;
- Decreasing the number of fatal cases of cardiopulmonary arrests in infants and children;
- Ensuring a healthy and safe working environment;
- Raise the AED awareness and the will to perform the defibrillation.
Final Words On The Benefits of Having an AED on Hand
There are innumerable benefits of the publicly and professionally available AEDs. The most important one is the increased survival rate of cardiac arrest patients of different age groups and with various medical conditions.
Generally, everybody benefits from the availability of AEDs – from emergency services and government institutions to businesses and ordinary citizens. That’s why the accessibility and affordability of these devices should continue to grow to ensure remarkable life-saving results. This should have given you a better understanding of the benefits of having an AED on hand.