Workplace AEDs: What to Consider When Choosing a Device

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the most common cause of death in the United States and can strike anytime. This means that every workplace and organization can benefit from having an onsite Automated External Defibrillator (AED) available for use in case of an emergency.

More than half of people who experience sudden cardiac arrest survive when they receive immediate CPR from someone nearby and early defibrillation from an automated external defibrillator (AED). However, the chance of survival decreases by 10% for every minute that passes before treatment begins.

Because sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any place or time to anyone, including to those who are otherwise healthy and have no history of heart disease, you may want to consider purchasing one of these life-saving devices for your workplace or facility.

SCA: Cardiac Emergency

Sudden cardiac arrest is most often the result of an electrical disturbance in your heart that disrupts its pumping action, stopping blood flow to the rest of your body. The heart’s electrical system manages the heartbeat, and the heartbeat is controlled by an electrical signal that travels through the heart from its upper chambers (atria) to its lower chambers (ventricles).

How AEDs Work

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are medical devices that analyze the heart rhythm of a patient and determine if an electric shock is necessary. They give clear step-by-step instructions to assist bystanders with chest compressions, making it easy for anyone to administer first aid during an emergency situation. AEDs must be connected to the victim via electrodes and can be used by anyone, even without AED training. The device will automatically apply an electrical shock to the patient’s chest when it detects abnormal cardiac activity.

AEDs are portable, easy-to-use devices that contain voice prompts and visual indicators to guide you through the process of helping a person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. These devices can be used in any environment and have been proven effective in saving lives, which is why they’re often found on campuses, in athletic facilities and health clubs, and other public places.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) combined with the use of an automated external defibrillator is the most effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), and survival rates increase when AEDs are used before emergency medical services (EMS) arrive at the scene. AEDs are ideal for areas/businesses/facilities where multiple people may need to use them during an emergency situation.

The American Heart Association recommends placing AEDs in all high-traffic areas including airports and shopping malls as well as all schools.

Popular AEDs for the Workplace

There are several models of AED to consider for your workplace. Some of the more popular models include the following:

Philips HeartStart OnSite

Zoll AED Plus

Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2.

All of these models have voice prompts to aid responders in the use of an AED, include easily available accessories (including for pediatric and infant victims), and have warranties. There are some differences in price and how to use each of the products, so it’s important to consult the manufacturer’s literature when making your selection.

Making the Workplace Safer

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 325,000 Americans every year. Survival rates vary greatly depending on where you live and what kind of care you receive, but it’s estimated that only about 8% of people survive a sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospitals or emergency response situations.

While current OSHA regulations do not require businesses or organizations to purchase or maintain an AED program, there’s no denying that this life-saving device can make all the difference for someone in need.

An AED greatly increases the chances of survival from SCA. It’s portable, easy to use, and can be placed in a variety of locations for bystanders or good samaritans to use. We recommend that all businesses consider purchasing an AED so that if an emergency does occur in your workplace or organization you are prepared for quick action.

If you need an automated external defibrillator, look no further than Penn Care. With a wide variety of first aid kits and occupational safety equipment, we have exactly what you need. Reach out today to talk through any questions you may have about installing an AED in your workplace.