Where is the AED in your neighborhood?
Citizen responders have been using AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) combined with quality CPR to save thousands of lives each year around the globe. Every week I read another story about ordinary people doing the extraordinary in saving the life of a loved one, friend, coworker and stranger using publicly accessible AEDs combined with CPR.
The Cardiac Chain of Survival is simple:
- Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
- Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
- Rapid defibrillation
- Effective advanced life support
- Integrated post-cardiac arrest care
The problem with any chain is its weakest link, and in way too many cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest; the weak link is the lack of access to an AED. Surviving a Sudden Cardiac arrest depends on the Cardiac Chain of Survival.
It’s a numbers game for surviving an SCA, and for every minute that goes by, the chances of survival drop by 10%. Survival varies widely among communities, yet overall averages around 8% in the U.S. Implementing a system of care including early recognition, 9-1-1 CPR instructions, early defibrillation, and high-quality professional CPR, along with guideline-based, post-arrest care could save as many as half of these victims.
Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time. Rural communities especially need to address these needs as response time is critical. How long before EMS reaches your home or office?
“Nearly 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually.
88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.
Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.”
Automated External Defibrillators have yet to catch on with the average homeowner or small business office, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one nearby. Take the time to learn where there are. Grocery stores, schools, the neighbor, the local library, many public and private homes and offices now have AEDs as part of their emergency preparedness programs.
AEDs in the home, AEDs in the office, AEDs in your neighborhood; it’s a no brainer! The cost of ownership has been drastically reduced to less than the price of a new Flat Screen TV, and if everyone on your block, office floor, or apartment building chipped in to purchase this potentially life saving device, the cost of ownership becomes negligible, because saving a life is priceless!