September 21, 2021
It is crucial that AEDs are accessible within 3 minutes at all schools! We know that sudden cardiac arrest affects the lives of 350,000 people each year across the United States and the survival rate is less than 10%. We also know how crucial it is for an AED to be used quickly when saving a life.
According to Parent Heart Watch, sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student-athletes and the number one cause of death on school campuses. Additionally, one in three hundred youth is living with an undetected heart condition.
Just having an AED in schools is NOT enough. It is important to have a complete AED program in place to ensure that someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) has the absolute best chance of survival.
What is included in a complete AED program? The first step is getting the AED. Once you have an AED the following steps should be taken to make sure you are prepared for a cardiac emergency.
The first step is to ensure your AED is ALWAYS read to save a life. AEDs require minor maintenance and must be checked monthly. When checking your AED, here are some things you should look for:
· Is the readiness indicator on your AED flashing green?
· Does the AED appear to be undamaged and ready for use?
· Is the AED free of chirping and warning notifications?
· Are the AED supplies (CPR/AED rescue kit and electrode pads) available and within their usable dates?
If you answer “no” to any of these questions when checking your AED, you should service your AED right away!
AED batteries can last anywhere from 4-7 years. They should have an expiration date on the battery pack so you know exactly when to change them. Make sure you order them in advance, so you have them before the current battery expires! Defibrillator pads last two years whether they are used or not. They also will have an expiration date on them. Always keep a spare supply of the battery pack and pads on hand to ensure your AED is always ready for use!
Using a program management system is a great way to maintain your AED. Defibtech offers DefibtechMD, which provides a best-in-class Customer Service team who is ready to help you get the most out of your AED.
It is important that you have a large group of people who are preparedprepare to provide CPR and use the AED if needed. This group of people should have CPR/AED/First Aid Certification that is current. Most certifications last two years so it is important to keep them up to date. A list of your Cardiac Emergency Response team should be maintained and updated frequently. This list should include name, CPR/AED training expiration date, location (office/classroom), and phone number. These people should be contacted immediately in the event of a cardiac emergency.
The responsibilities of the members of the Cardiac Emergency Response Team include:
· Ensure the Cardiac Emergency Response Plan is current and consistent with local, state, and federal law.
· Meet frequently to evaluate the effectiveness of the Cardiac Emergency Response Plan.
· Communicate the Cardiac Emergency Response plan with other members of the office or school.
· Incorporate a certification plan to ensure all members are up to date on their certification.
· Run drills to ensure everyone knows their role within the Cardiac Emergency Response Plan.
Finally, you need to have a Cardiac Emergency Response plan that is written and reviewed frequently. This plan should include:
· Development of Cardiac Emergency Response Team
· The activation of the Cardiac Emergency Response Team
· AED Placement and Maintenance
· Communication of this plan to all staff
· Cardiac Emergency Response Drills
· Engage Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and integrate them into your plan
· Review and evaluate the Cardiac Emergency Response Plan annually
Remember, having an AED at school is important, but it is NOT enough. Combining the AED with good program management, a prepared Cardiac Emergency Response Team, and an efficient Cardiac Emergency Response Plan will ensure that someone in sudden cardiac arrest has the absolute best chance of survival.
To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit www.Defibtech.com.