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.
This is a very sad story about a seemingly healthy young girl who died from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. No one can say whether she would have lived or died with early CPR & Defibrillation, but at least it should have been done. This is why learning CPR and having AEDs in schools is so important!
BY MELISSA PAMER
A high school tennis player who collapsed on a warm-up run in Anaheim last week has died after eight days in the hospital, her parents announced Wednesday.
Morgan Wilson, a 17-year-old student and varsity tennis co-captain at Esperanza High School, died at UC Irvine Medical Center after suffering cardiac arrest on June 8.
She was the subject of a prayer circle organized on the school tennis courts by a former teammate last week. Friends posted about her on Twitter under the hashtag #prayforMorgan.
“Praying that Morgan gets over this hurdle,” one girl tweeted on Tuesday. “Couldn’t think of anyone who deserves a miracle more. #prayformorgan.”
Scott and Debbie Wilson wrote in a statement sent out by a spokesman for UCI Medical Center that their daughter’s body had “decided it was time to go” on Wednesday afternoon. They called her a “strong and passionate girl who loved life” and was a role model for others.
“We want to thank everyone for their prayers. The outpouring of support from strangers and those who knew and loved Morgan is overwhelming,” the Wilsons wrote.
Morgan Wilson had registered to be an organ donor without her family’s knowledge, her parents said.
“Like so many things in her life, this reminds us what a generous and selfless soul she has,” her parents wrote, saying they were working to donate their daughter’s organs. “Our hope is that they will save other people’s lives.”
Wilson was on a warm-up run before a private tennis lesson in Anaheim when she collapsed, the Orange County Register reported.
Rescue crews were able to get Wilson’s heart started again after using a defibrillator, but Wilson did not regain consciousness, the school’s women’s tennis booster club president said last week. She had no known history of heart problems.
Wilson’s parents said they believed their daughter could have been saved had she gotten CPR “in a timely fashion.” Urging others to learn CPR was the best way to honor Morgan, they wrote.
“Parents should make sure that those entrusted with their children’s care know CPR and are prepared to administer it,” Scott and Debbie Wilson wrote. “Ask whether their schools and athletic facilities have automatic defibrillators on site. Please, do not be afraid to ask.”
You would think that this question “What First Aid, CPR/AED Class Do I Need?” would be fairly straight forward, but considering that many individuals are seeing the value of emergency medical response classes and seeking a class for the first time, or maybe there is an employer who has tasked a well meaning co-worker with finding a class for the team; it can all get a bit overwhelming!
There are a myriad of options and providers, and of course everyone has a program to sell, but our goal is to simplify the process and give you as much of an unbiased opinion as possible.
Let’s break it down.
As far as Northwest Response is concerned (slightly biased) there are three trusted providers in Health & Safety Training on a national scale: The American Red Cross, ASHI/HSI-Medic, and AHA (The American Heart Association). All of these programs are partner to the OSHA Alliance, and are accepted Nationally.
The next questions you should ask:
Will the program work for me? Is it what I want to learn? What program has our team used in the past? What program does my employer require?
Some employers want a specific provider such as The American Red Cross, HSI-Medic, ASHI, or AHA, so the first step is to find out which program the employer wants to utilize, then move on to the options below to determine what class is the best one to fulfill your specific needs.
Note: If you are just wanting to learn “how to respond” then take any Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training course that is both convenient, and fits your budget. And, be sure to do your homework on the “provider/trainer’s” qualifications.
There are basically only a few levels of First Aid, CPR/AED training classes, and Northwest Response covers the entire spectrum. Below are all of the classes that Northwest Response offers, but if you need an AHA class; please visit the AHA website after you have read this post (link provided below).
Northwest Response Offerings:
- Red Cross CPR/AED Training
- Red Cross Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training
- HSI-Medic Basic Plus Adult First Aid, CPR, AED
- Red Cross Pediatric and Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training
- Red Cross CPRO- CPR/AED & First Aid for The Professional Responder & Healthcare Providers.
- Red Cross Bloodborne Pathogen Training
- HSI-Medic Bloodborne Pathogen Training
Confused? Don’t be, lets break it down one more level.
This next set of answers should cover all you need to know about “First Aid/CPR/AED” training, and what class you need.
All I need or want is CPR:
- Take The American Red Cross – Northwest Response CPR/AED Training Class
- Northwest Response HSI-Medic Basic Plus Adult First Aid, CPR, AED Class
My job requires me to have a “basic” First Aid, CPR/AED card, and/or I just want to be able to respond to medical emergencies.
- Take either the American Red Cross – Northwest Response Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training, or
- Northwest Response HSI-Medic Basic Plus Adult First Aid, CPR, AED Class
I work with children, have children, or want to know how to care for children.
- Take the American Red Cross – Northwest Response Pediatric and Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training Class
I am a Professional. I work in Healthcare or I’m a Professional Responder i.e. LE- Law Enforcement, EMT, Firemen, Nurse, CNA, Care Giver, Dental Assistant, etc.
- Take The American Red Cross – CPRO- CPR/AED & First Aid for The Professional Responder & Healthcare Providers.
- AHA BLS which NWR does NOT offer at this time.
I’m required to have Bloodborne Pathogens Training as part of my job.
- Take either The American Red Cross – Northwest Response Bloodborne Pathogen Training, or
- Northwest Response – HSI-Medic Bloodborne Pathogen Training Class.
That’s pretty much it. Really.
If you have a more advanced need such as EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) then please drop us a line from our contact page.
Words of advice:
Some companies train to comply. Some companies train Responders. Here at Northwest Response we train Responders. Please do your homework! Check references, read testimonials, ask questions, and when you feel confident in the trainer you have selected; book that class!
The training you or your staff receive could mean the difference between life and death, literally.
We hope that the above helped to solve some of your provider and class questions. If you still have questions, we are here to answer them. Call us during business hours, or drop us a line from our contact page, and we will be happy to assist you to become a “First Responder.”