Closing the Gap with an AED

January 14, 2013Comments Off on Closing the Gap with an AED

In most cases, when a person witnesses a medical emergency, the first thing that he or she would typically do is to get in touch with emergency services by dialing 911. After this, the waiting game begins. It is during this critical waiting moment that the difference between life and death can be clearly spelled out.

Not many people may know it but it is the first 5 minutes that is crucial to the victim’s survival. If left on his or her own during those precious minutes, there is a possibility that he or she might no longer be able to make it through. What’s more, if ever the victim does make it through, the possibility that he or she would suffer from irreversible brain damage grows exponentially. It is, therefore, no surprise that the American Heart Association has made a number of changes in the guidelines that deal with how an unconscious person should be handled. One glaring difference between the previous guidelines and the new one is the order of the procedure. If, in the past, the responder is expected to check the airway first before administering artificial breaths and then doing chest compressions; today, that responder would have to do the chest compressions first before checking the airway and administering artificial breaths. The new set of guidelines also has a specific procedure for those who are not familiar with the whole CPR process or simply are not confident about their CPR knowledge. For these type of responders, all they have to do is administer chest compressions until paramedics arrive or until he or she grows tired. In the case of the latter, the responder has to make sure that there is someone who can take his or her place. Another thing that the responder would have to keep in mind is that the chest compressions should be at least 5 cm deep and should number to about a hundred in a minute. The best way to do this without losing rhythm is to time the compressions to “Stayin’ Alive”. A better way would be to seek the help of an AED.

AEDs, or Automated Electronic Defibrillators, are electronic portable devices that can help a responder not only assess the situation but administer the right solution. With an AED on hand, a responder would be able to detect whether there is a need for defibrillation or if CPR alone would suffice. Keep in mind that not all unconscious victims are suffering from heart attack, and even if they are, not all would call for electric shocks. Most AED units also come with visual as well as audio prompts that could guide even the most amateur of responders on what they should do in order to help revive the victim.

Have your own AED program in place. If you do not have the chops to come up with one, you can get the help of Citywide CPR. Citywide CPR can help you come up with an AED program management in place as well as help you and your people undergo CPR training and certification.