Mantra for AED-aware organizations: Plan, practice, prevent

Each year, millions of people require emergency medical care in the workplace. If someone were injured in an accident, or collapsed from a cardiac incident in the cubicle next to yours, would you know what to do?

This question is particularly poignant when the medical emergency is sudden cardiac arrest. More and more organizations and businesses are installing life-saving automated external defibrillators in the workplace (AED office). And yet there are many instances in which lives are lost because employees didn’t know an AED was nearby, or were hesitant to use one.

The American Heart Association recommends that every workplace have in place the following three-point safety strategy to increase the chances of saving lives:

Plan. Draw up a written plan that includes information on where AEDs and first aid supplies are located and designates certain employees as “first responders” during a crisis.

Practice. Using the plan, have employees practice dealing with an emergency. Work as a team to make sure that everything gets done, from calling 911 to using an AED and making sure emergency medical personnel have access to the building. When a real emergency occurs, practice will save time and, possibly, a life. (We’d like to suggest that your practice includes arranging for AED and CPR training, available through the American Heart Association and other agencies, for interested staff.)

Prevent. Well-informed employees can prevent an injury or illness from becoming serious by responding in a rapid and well-informed way.

The American Heart Association’s AED Implementation Guide and Cardiac Science AED Program Management can help you set up your program.

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