The Case for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) Aboard Recreational Vessels.
Consider that most Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) happen while on solid ground, a city, a home, an urban environment. When this happens, we have a rather good chance that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will arrive in 4-5 minutes, so long as you are within an urban area. Now consider you are on the water when a SCA strikes a passenger aboard your recreational vessel. Now how long before EMS will arrive? The chances are that if you are witness to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest on a lake, river, or even on a short cruise just a few miles off shore, the victim will not survive without the application of immediate first aid procedures.
Factors contributing to Out-of-Hospital survival following Sudden Cardiac Arrest have been described primarily in terms of the time-related Chain of Survival.
The Links in the Chain of Survival
(1) Early recognition and call for emergency medical services;
(2) Initiation of basic life support CPR;
(3) Defibrillation; and
(4) Advanced cardiac life support (EMS)
Survival depends on the availability of the link. Without intervention, survival following Sudden Cardiac Arrest decreases rapidly.
Several studies have reported that for each minute of untreated cardiac arrest, the probability of successful rhythm conversion decreases by 7% to 10%. (see chart)
First Aid – Less than the Cost of a Flat Screen
Being an avid boater and regular visitor to many vessels of all sizes, I am very surprised to see the enormous amount of money spent on expensive luxuries and very little on emergency preparedness, first aid being almost dismissed. By and large, a full complement of first aid preparedness aboard most small and larger recreational vessels I visit consist of a $10 first aid kit. I see more money spent on the flat screen TV, than is ever invested in first aid training, or first aid kits. A Red Cross First Aid, CPR & AED class runs about $110.00, but most of the recreational boating public I speak to has never taken a class, or if they did, it was so long ago that they do not have the confidence to apply even the simplest of first aid procedures, or life saving techniques.
Most professional mariners are required to train for emergencies, recreational boaters have no such requirements. In fact many have never even taken a boating safety course.
Unlike land based medical emergencies, when you are on the water, 1 mile or 100 miles there is no pulling over to the side of the road, no 911. Time to Emergency Medical Services and immediate first aid are critical factors in determining the outcome of a cardiac medical emergency. Lack of training or simple life saving devices like a full BLS first aid kit and an AED will reduce the survivability of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest victim by 10% per minute. It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that after 10 minutes of non-response the survivability drops to almost zero.
For a small investment of time, and less than the cost of that flat screen you can learn vital first aid skills that could someday save a life. For a few dollars more, you could invest in a life saving device such as a Heartsine or ZOLL AED and the value is priceless in a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Thinking about getting a First Aid Kit for your Boat or RV? Good!
Having a top quality First Aid for your boat or RV is very important, and a piece of safety gear that many people over look.
Through our First Aid, CPR and AED training programs we see all kinds of first aid kits in the field; some good, and some really, really bad. Take for instance one kit we found on a contractors truck that had one used bloody 4×4 gauze pad, or another that was so old that all the the products contained in the kit had expired in 2000. We rarely see top quality First Aid or Trauma Kits on Boats or in RVs, most of the kits we see are $9.99 specials from the hardware store.
…When we boat or camp often the idea to to get away from it all comes with a certain acceptable risk…
” The worst time to plan for an emergency is in the middle of one!”
You could find yourself outside of timely advanced emergency medical care. There are no EMTs in the middle of the Puget Sound, or in the remote wilderness so being prepared to care for the sick and injured is a top priority until help can arrive.
Getting a First Aid Kit for your Boat or RV that is stocked with the essentials is the easy part.
The best First Aid Kit in the world will not be of much use without knowing how to use the kit effectively. It’s one thing to treat scrapes and little cuts, but quite another when talking about more serious soft tissue injuries, broken bones and other major first aid situations. We highly recommend that you and your recreational family and friends attend a Red Cross Adult First Aid, CPR and AED class.
What class is right for you and what kit do you need?
It really depends on where you go, and access to EMS services. If you are the adventurous type spring for the First Responder Kit, day camping then a basic kit will suffice.
Boaters have very unique response needs in that even if you can see the shore response will be at least 30 minutes, unless you are very near a dock facility with fast response time by EMS. Regardless, a person suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) will need treatment within 10 minutes, or the survival rate drops to almost zero. The only effective treatment of SCA is the deployment and use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), like the Heartsine or ZOLL AED Plus® maritime packages offered by Northwest Response.
Putting it all together
Having the right equipment is the start, its like buying a new GPS, or Charts for your boat, if you don’t take the time to learn how to use them, they aren’t much use when response time is critical; to quote Capt. Tom Bliss….“The worst time to plan for an emergency is in the middle of one!” And failure to plan is planning to fail.
Every minute that passes for a person suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest will loose another 10% chance of survival without proper CPR and AED deployment. The skills required to administer life saving techniques can be acquired in as little as 2-hours, or a full Adult/Pediatric First Aid, CPR & AED class is only an investment of 6 hours and could turn out to be the best investment of time you will ever spend when it is you responding in a life threatening medical emergency, such as Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Northwest Response is a Proud Provider of American Red Cross First Aid Training and distributor of top quality First Aid Kits, ZOLL AEDs , Heartsine (Automated External Defibrillators). When you are shopping for first aid kits, or considering taking a first aid class, be sure to check with us first! We may be holding a Boating or Camping First Aid Class near you, and will be happy to help you choose the First Aid Kit that is right for your lifestyle.
If you would like to take an individual First Aid Class, or you want to involve your entire Boating and Camping group, please call or email Northwest Response to set up a class.
Be Ready for Cardiac Emergencies at Sea When Every Second Counts!
At sea, whether on a large ship or a small boat, access to emergency services is often hours away. This means that in the event of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), your crew must be prepared to act within the critical ten-minute window. While CPR is an important life-saving step, without immediate access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) during a sudden cardiac arrest you risk the safety of both your passengers and crew. With its advanced lifesaving AED technology, a HeartSine® samaritan® PAD (public access defibrillator) is a critical item in your on-board safety kit. This lifesaving technology can significantly increase the chance of survival for a passenger or an employee who suffers an SCA hours away from emergency support.
“AEDs are less than the cost of a flat screen HDTV”
- Highest level of protection from moisture and dust (IP56) offers unmatched robustness in both wet and dry environments – a necessity on decks where protection is needed against strong jets of water
- Significantly smaller size, fits nicely within constrained storage spaces
- One-change maintenance, due to one expiration date on the pads and batteries, means less inventory to manage and order, which is often a challenge with devices on multiple vessels
- Top vibration rating MIL-STD-810F 514.5+
- Easy to use by all rescuers, regardless of skill level, due to simple two-button operation, intuitive voice/visual prompts and no lid to open or complex displays or controls
- Industry leading 10-year warranty for maximum reliability and lowest total cost of ownership
- Complete AED solution available to manage all aspects of your AED deployment—from installation to maintenance—through a single point of contact
Why Northwest Response?
- Free CPR/AED response training for crews in the Pacific Northwest (some restrictions apply)
- Northwest Response is an Authorized HeartSine Distributor
- Northwest Response trainers are Emergency Medical Responders (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician’s (EMT), and Paramedics
- Northwest Response is Licensed by The American Red Cross and ASHI/HSI-Medic to deliver quality Emergency Medical Response training for Lay responders through Emergency Medical Responders.
- Approved by the United States Coast Guard per 46 CFR 10.205
How to order
To get the latest pricing on Maritime AEDs please call the Northwest Response AED specialist
253-358-2447, or email our team using this following online form
We are available 24/7 Coast to Coast. Semper Paratus!
HeartSine samaritan® PAD Public Access Defibrillator and Northwest Response.
The Maritime choice in Emergency Cardiac Response.
Lifesaving, Pure and Simple