According to the American Heart Association, there are some 400,000 sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) events in the United States each year. Of those, roughly 120,000 occur in the workplace. This is why so many companies are launching automatic external defibrillator (AED) programs: again according to the AHA, an employee’s likelihood of surviving such an event is 60 percent at an organization with an AED program, and only 7 percent without.
Let’s take a look at some important considerations for deploying AEDs in the workplace.
There is a direct correlation between the time elapsed before defibrillation and survival rate. In other words, sooner is much, much better when it comes to AED use. That’s why locating the units properly is vital.
We recommend locating AEDs so that a unit can be brought to the patient’s side in 90 seconds or less. That means 90 seconds round trip, and not at a sprint by your fastest employee, but at a brisk walk.
All AEDs are not the same. The needs of your specific situation will dictate some of the features that make the most sense for your company’s AED program.
For example, should the unit have pediatric electrodes? Will any of the units be installed in outdoor locations? Do some or all of the units require alarmed cabinets? Do you need units with bilingual voice prompts? Or perhaps WiFi connectivity, which can help to give first responders a more complete look at the situation? All of these and more are considerations to be taken into account in designing your AED program.
A neglected AED is a tragedy waiting to happen. All units have a given battery life, and other consumables like pads also require regular inspection and occasional replacement. In other words, your AED program needs to incorporate a plan for scheduled maintenance.
Some units allow remote monitoring of battery life and other readiness information, and some manufacturers offer dashboards that provide centralized monitoring, even if your AEDs are deployed at multiple locations.
Questions about designing and implementing an AED program for your business? Contact Heart to Beat LLC.