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AED (Automated External Defibrillator) Program

Hands forming the shape of a heart with sunlight shining through

Background

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, emergency medical services (EMS) treats about 383,000 victims of SCA before they reach the hospital. Less than 12 percent of those victims survive. SCA can happen to anyone at any time; even childern. It is important for companies and organizations to implement AED programs so employees and community memebers are prepared to respond to an SCA emergency. Placing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in key locations, and making sure employees are trained to use them, can mean the difference between life and death. Places such as offices, airports, schools, shopping malls, grocery stores, manufacturing plants and golf courses are being equipped with AEDs. 

Statistics

  • Each year, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) treats about 383,000 victims of SCA before they reach the hospital
  • Less than 12 percent of SCA victims survive
  • 1 high school aged athlete suffers a sudden cardiac arrest every 3 days in the U.S.
  • 1 in 350 teens in the U.S. have an underlying heart condition that can put them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.
  • 1 in 500 young people are affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is the number one identifiable cause of sudden cardiac arrest
  • A victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent for every minute that passes without defibrillation

Defibrillation

Defibrillation is a process in which an electronic device gives an electrical shock to the heart. Defibrillation stops ventricular fibrillation by using an electrical shock and allows the return of a normal heart rhythm. A victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent for every minute that passes without defibrillation. In recent years, small portable defibrillators have become available. These devices are called Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs. An AED is a device that analyzes a heart rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a shock when necessary. These devices only require the user to turn the AED on and follow the audio instructions when prompted.

Importance of AED Programs

The American Heart Association strongly encourages companies and organizations to implement AED programs to increase the chances of survival for people who have heart-related emergencies. With an AED program, a person will be better prepared to save the life of a coworker, friend, family member or stranger. With a good implementation plan and proper training, one can help save more lives. The goal of every AED program is to deliver defibrillation to an SCA victim within three to five minutes after collapse.

LMCHD partners with local schools, small business, churches, and community centers to place AED is the community as well as training.