The Importance of Automatic External Defibrillators in the Workplace

The Importance of Automatic External Defibrillators in the Workplace

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the UK, with over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring each year. A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, and can happen to anyone, at any time, and without warning. If not treated immediately, SCA can lead to death within minutes.

One of the most effective treatments for SCA is an electrical shock to the heart, known as defibrillation. Defibrillation must be administered as soon as possible after SCA has occurred in order to be effective, which is why having an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on hand is so important. AEDs are portable devices that deliver an electrical shock to the heart, restoring its normal rhythm. When used promptly and properly, AEDs can be the difference between life and death.

How do AEDs work?

Automatic External Defibrillators are designed for use by laypeople with little or no medical training. Most AEDs will not allow a shock to be delivered unless it is needed, making them safe and easy to use. Most AEDs will have clear instructions on how to operate them, and will also provide voice prompts to guide users through the process.

When should an AED be used?

An AED should only be used on someone who is unresponsive and not breathing normally. Once an AED has been turned on, follow the instructions provided by the device. It is important to remember that time is of the essence when using an AED; for every minute that passes without defibrillation, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10% 

Where should I place my AED? 

Your workplace should have a designated location for its AED, preferably near a main entrance or in a central area where it can easily be accessed by employees or customers in case of an emergency. The designated location should be clearly marked with signage, and employees should be made aware of its location. 

It is also important to make sure that your workplace’s AED is properly maintained; check that it is regularly serviced and that the batteries are replaced as needed. Employees should also be trained on how to use the device in case of an emergency 

Automatic External Defibrillators are vital pieces of equipment that could mean the difference between life and death in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. By ensuring that your workplace has an AED and that it is properly maintained, you can help create a safe environment for your employees and customers alike.

31st Oct 2022 Christopher Maltby

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