Having attended a First Aid/CPR/AED instructors course earlier this month, I more fully appreciate the need to have available first aid responders and equipment in workplaces. In the past, I was comfortable advising clients that if they had nearby response services, they were compliant with OSHA standards.  Here are some things I have learned during and since the course that leads me to the conclusion that almost all businesses should have trained first aid and basic life support responders on site and at all times.

Response times to 911 calls simply are not adequate.  In a March, 2014 article the NY Daily News reported that the average EMS response time after a 911 call was 9 minutes 23 seconds.  http://nydn.us/1lWBPtX.  That is in New York City.  Imagine what the response time can be in a rural setting where resources are thin!

The American Heart Association’s scientific position is that brain death and permanent death start to occur in 4–6 minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest can be reversible if treated within a few minutes with an electric shock and Advanced Life Support intervention to restore a normal heartbeat. Verifying this standard are studies showing that a victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7%–10% with every minute that passes without defibrillation and advanced life support intervention. Few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes.

Time is the enemy of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association 383,000 individuals suffer out of hospital sudden cardiac arrest each year.   Given that brain death can begin so quickly, even Basic Life Support actions can make the difference between life and death.

An even more effective measure for sudden cardiac arrest is to have immediate access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).  This equipment which is designed to provide an electrical shock that restores proper rhythm to a heart beat, is simple to use and has proven to save lives.  AEDs are seen in many public places and are often found in a brightly colored container inside a cabinet with a glass door.  Businesses are not required to have AEDs, but many have chosen to include them as part of their first aid equipment.

A few days after the class ended, I came across this story that cemented my belief that an investment in an AED is well worth the price tag.  Here is the link to the story of a life saved through the use of an AED in a workplace.

Please read this this story.   http://on.rocne.ws/1oOoIOd

As the average age of workers increases, there is a need to plan ahead for an event such as sudden cardiac arrest and other medical emergencies. The availability of an AED combined with trained initial responders, provides the best chance for survival until advanced life support help arrives on the scene.


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