Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

By learning CPR, you know how to keep a person’s blood oxygenated and circulating throughout the body when their own heart and lungs cannot. But CPR does not treat the underlying cause of cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest happens because the victim’s heart rhythm has changed. The most common cause of cardiac arrest is Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) or Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia (VT). Both of these potentially lethal heart rhythms are REVERSIBLE IF quickly treated with defibrillation.

Uncorrected, these cardiac conditions rapidly lead to irreversible brain damage and death. After approximately three to five minutes,[1] irreversible brain/tissue damage may begin to occur. For every minute that a person in cardiac arrest goes without being successfully defibrillated, the chance of survival decreases by 7 percent per minute in the first few minutes, and decreases by 10 percent per minute as time advances beyond the 3 minute mark.[2]

Early CPR is so important in increasing the chances of survival because it provides for a manual means of pumping oxygenated blood to the brain when the heart cannot. However, CPR alone will not be effective in returning spontaneous circulation to a cardiac arrest victim.

An Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, is a portable, electronic medical device that automatically diagnoses VF or VT in a patient,[3] and is able to treat them through defibrillation, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. For this reason, AEDs are gaining in popularity. Public access defibrillators are mandated by law to be located in public schools, fitness centers, health clubs, public swimming pools, other places of public assembly and most recently, in dentist offices. Other popular places to find a public access defibrillator, although not required by law, include corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, universities, community centers, workplaces and any other location where people may congregate.

Dentists are amongst the latest group required to have an AED. Legislation passed into law June 2011 requires every dentist office in New York State to have an AED by January 1, 2012. The bill, in its final form, was endorsed by the New York State Dental Association, the American Red Cross of New York and the American Heart Association. As an incentive to purchase AEDs, New York State is offering a $500 tax credit per unit purchased.

Have Dummy Will Travel, Inc. is proud to offer the Philips OnSite AED.  Click here to learn more about why we recommend the Philips OnSite.

References:

[1] “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Statistics”. American Red Cross. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4483.

[2] American Red Cross. CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer (participant’s manual). Yardley, PA: StayWell, 2006. (page 63).

[3] Kerber, Richard E; Becker, Lance B; Bourland, Joseph D; Cummins, Richard O; Hallstrom, Alfred P; Michos, Mary B; Nichol, Graham; Ornato, Joseph P; Thies, William H; White, Roger D; Zuckerman, Bram D (March 18, 1997). “Automatic External Defibrillators for Public Access Defibrillation”. Circulation (American Heart Association) 95 (1677-1682): 1677.

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